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De Blasio Picks New FDNY Commissioner

By  Colby Hamilton and Murray Weiss | May 8, 2014 5:11pm | Updated on May 8, 2014 6:11pm

 Former FDNY Chief Daniel Nigro at the Columbus Day Parade in 2002.
Former FDNY Chief Daniel Nigro at the Columbus Day Parade in 2002.
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CIVIC CENTER — Daniel Nigro, a retired fire chief credited with shepherding the FDNY through some of its darkest days on and after Sept. 11, 2001, will return to city government as the new fire commissioner, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Nigro will replace Sal Cassano, a holdover from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration who has led the department since 2010.

The appointment is expected to be announced Friday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's office declined comment on the appointment. Nigro could not be reached for comment.

A native New Yorker, Nigro served in the department for more than 30 years. He was appointed chief of the department on Sept. 11 after Peter Ganci, Jr. was killed during the terror attack.

He retired from the department less than a year after 9/11, in 2002.

“Danny Nigro has the experience necessary to lead the FDNY into the future," Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said in a statement.

Earlier reports had indicated Mayor Bill de Blasio had been seeking a woman to head the department. But according to a source with knowledge of the situation, his top choice, Mylan Denerstein, who serves as Gov. Andrew Cuomo's legal counsel, declined the position. She also declined to comment.

Another potential candidate, former FDNY spokesman Michael Regan, also passed, according to the source.

A request for comment from the FDNY was not returned. Similarly, a call into the Uniform Fire Officers Association's president Al Hagan for comment was not returned.