NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio's embattled aide Rachel Noerdlinger and her convicted killer boyfriend were once busted after driving the wrong way in a car that reeked of pot smoke — with an underage passenger in the backseat, records show.
The Edgewater, N.J., incident occurred in 2011 and resulted in Noerdlinger, the chief of staff to de Blasio’s wife, receiving a violation for allowing her boyfriend, Hassaun McFarlan, to drive her Mercedes-Benz without a license, police records show.
McFarlan was arrested for possession of marijuana, according to a police report.
A year later, the smell of pot also led to McFarlan’s arrest outside the couple’s Edgewater apartment. That time he lied to police officers about his identity to conceal $1,575 in outstanding warrants, records show.
DNAinfo New York first reported on Noerdlinger’s relationship with McFarlan, detailing how he has a slew of arrests, served time in prison for manslaughter and drug trafficking and referred to police as “pigs” in Facebook rants.
Over the past two weeks, de Blasio has defended Noerdlinger to reporters, noting that her boyfriend’s actions and words have no reflection on her and her work in his administration.
"Let's be honest about this: The way this public discourse is going, people are going more and more — and not just in this case but in may others — into people's boyfriends, girlfriends, children, aunts, uncles," he said earlier this week.
But the latest revelation shows that Noerdlinger and McFarlan have had a run-in with the law together.
At about 3:06 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2011, Noerdlinger was in the front passenger seat of her sedan while McFarlan drove and a minor sat in the rear, according to an Edgewater Police Department report obtained by DNAinfo New York through a Freedom of Information request.
The minor’s name was redacted from the report, but Noerdlinger has a son who is currently 17 and would have been 14 at the time.
A police officer stopped McFarlan after seeing him drive on the wrong side of the street toward oncoming turning traffic, according to the report.
When the officer approached the car and began speaking to McFarlan, he caught a whiff of pot smoke inside the Mercedes.
“I could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle,” the officer wrote.
He then asked McFarlan to step out of the car, the report says. As McFarlan got out, “he threw two clear zip lock baggies of marijuana onto the driver’s seat,” the report says.
The officer then seized the baggies and arrested McFarlan for possession of marijuana, the report says. Noerdlinger was slapped with the summons.
The mayor's office did not respond to a request for comment about the latest revelations.
Noerdlinger and McFarlan have been romantically linked since at least 2010 and have lived together in apartments in Edgewater for more than two years, according to records.
Police records show that McFarlan was also busted for lying to police officers about his identity after they approached him outside an Edgewater apartment that he shared with Noerdlinger and her son.
A police report says that officers stopped McFarlan outside his home on Sept. 20, 2012, while responding to a domestic violence incident at a separate unit.
When the officers spotted him exiting his second-floor apartment at about 10:42 a.m., they detected a “strong odor of burnt marijuana” coming from his vestibule.
An officer then stopped and questioned McFarlan, who said he had just smoked pot in his apartment, the report says.
The officer patted McFarlan down and found Noerdlinger’s credit card and some cash. When the officer asked McFarlan for identification, he said he didn’t have any, according to the report.
When he was instructed to write his name and date of birth on a notepad, McFarlan wrote “Shaka Akinlana” and gave a birthday and address different from his own, the report says.
However, when asked his age, McFarlan gave an answer that didn’t match with the date of birth, raising the officer’s suspicion, the report says. McFarlan could also not provide any prior addresses that “Shaka Akinlana” had lived, according to a report.
When a police sergeant arrived at the scene, he recognized McFarlan from the 2011 pot arrest, looked up that arrest and determined McFarlan’s true identity and that he had $1,575 in active warrants, according to the report.
Records show that Shaka Akinlana is an actual person. He lives in the Bronx and is friends with Noerdlinger on Facebook.