NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio's chief counsel Maya Wiley is resigning next month — in the third high-ranking departure from the administration in recent months.
Wiley, who served as de Blasio's top legal advisor, leaves as the mayor is facing multiple federal and state probes into his fundraising activities. She will head up the Civilian Complaint Review Board and also serve as a professor and Senior Vice President for Social Justice at The New School.
Her departure comes a day after DNAinfo New York first reported Wednesday that de Blasio's social media director Scott Kleinberg was leaving just eight weeks into the job because he worked with an office full of "political hacks plus a boss who just couldn't get it."
De Blasio's press secretary Karen Hinton also departed earlier this month after less than a year on the job. In interviews after her departure, Hinton said de Blasio needed "tougher skin" and "to develop better relationships with the news media."
There was no sniping from Wiley in her departure statement, which was released by the administration.
“I’m grateful to the Mayor for the privilege of serving him and this city I love as his Counsel, and for all that we've accomplished to improve broadband access, expand contracts for women and minority-owned businesses, and increase women's leadership roles," Wiley said.
De Blasio also praised Wiley and said he was "deeply grateful" for her service.
"Maya is a compassionate and brilliant attorney, and she has been a strong asset to Chirlane and me since Day One," de Blasio said.
Wiley was in the news most recently for introducing a much-criticized term, "agents of the city," to explain why the mayor would not release certain emails between himself and a group of five advisors.
Good government groups balked at the term, calling it "fiction" and "completely made up."
“In retrospect, the term came across in ways I didn’t intend for it to,” Wiley told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news of her departure.
Wiley was also highly regarded by advocates pushing for the city to improve the amount of contracts it awards to minority business, but many, like Bertha Lewis, head of the The Black Institute and a founding member of The Working Families Party, said Wiley was wearing too many hats at City Hall and that a full-time person was needed to address the issue.
"Nothing against her because she tried to do the best that she could. I lay this at the feet of the mayor," Lewis said in an interview. "You cannot wear four hats and do an adequate job."
Earlier this month, de Blasio appointed Jonnel Doris as the new Senior Advisor for the City’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise program. Lewis said that senior advisor is not a high enough level position for the job.
"Can we finally get a chief diversity officer that's full time and on the level of a deputy mayor?" Lewis asked.
Wiley takes over as head of the watchdog CCRB, which examines complaints from the public against the police, following the April resignation of former head Richard Emery after he made controversial remarks about police and women.
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch criticized Wiley's new role.
“By appointing a top aide to lead the CCRB, Mayor de Blasio has effectively removed all impartiality from the critical cases involving police officers that come before this so-called ‘independent agency,’" Lynch said in a statement.
“While Ms. Wiley no doubt wanted to leave a City Hall caught in the middle of multiple investigations, this appointment is another example of an administration that puts politically-motivated tactics ahead of fairness, and demonstrates once again its increasingly hostile attitude towards the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our city," Lynch added.
De Blasio spokeswoman Monica Klein called Lynch's criticism nothing more than "partisan political attacks."