NEW YORK CITY — This week DNAinfo New York revealed that a senior aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio is dating a convicted killer who calls police officers "pigs;" a group of Bronx kids brightened up a park's drab walls only to have the city paint over their work; and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park led the city with the highest number of graffiti complaints.
Here are some stories you may have missed this week:
Rachel Noerdlinger, the chief of staff to first lady Chirlane McCray, has been romantically involved with Hassaun McFarlan, a convicted killer and interstate drug trafficker, since 2010, records show. McFarlan has been arrested at least five times, including for the fatal shooting of a teenager over a down jacket.
A group of kids from the Renaissance Youth Center painted over the gray walls of The Rev. Lena Irons Unity Park with a salmon color in August. But on Sept. 20, the Parks Department painted over the youth center’s work, saying that salmon is not an acceptable color.
Columbia University logged approximately 30 reports of sexual assaults on campus dating back to last summer but the school found the accused attackers guilty in only two of the incidents, a long-awaited report issued by the college revealed.
State investigators admonished the medical provider for New York’s jails and prisons on four separate occasions after Rikers Island inmates in its care died — yet officials still repeatedly renewed its contract, DNAinfo New York has learned.
DNAinfo New York mapped the city’s graffiti complaints in 2014 and found that Brooklyn’s Sunset Park had the highest number of complaints. There were 452 graffiti-related calls made to the city’s 311 hotline so far this year in the zip code 11220, which includes Sunset Park south of 43rd Street as well as a portion of Bay Ridge, according to city stats.
Yellow taxi driver MD Hossain of the Bronx who struck and killed a woman crossing the street on the Upper East Side last month is the first in the city to face criminal charges that carry potential jail time under a stricter new city law. Hossain was arrested last week on misdemeanor charges of failure to yield to a pedestrian.
City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo and ex-City Councilwoman Diana Reyna went to bat over the past two years for nonprofits employing their family members, records obtained by DNAinfo New York show. The two each penned letters of support for the groups to city officials deciding on their proposals to develop public land.
A Park Slope woman was attacked by a band of rowdy teens on the G train after asking them not to curse in front of two small children on the train, police said. The girls kicked the woman repeatedly in the head as she lay curled in a fetal position on the floor of the G train car on Sept. 10, according to the victim who would only identify herself as Amanda.