De Blasio Taps Two Allies to Join His Administration

Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The de Blasio administration recently hired two close allies for positions in City Hall and the Department of Education, a spokeswoman for the mayor confirmed to the Observer.

Joni Kletter is Mr. de Blasio’s new general counsel for City Legislative Affairs, replacing Rachel Lauter, who became the director of the Mayor’s Office of Appointments in April. Justin Brannan, a former spokesman for Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile, took an intergovernmental affairs position in May with the Department of Education.

Both Ms. Kletter and Mr. Brannan were early supporters of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat. Mr. Brannan leads the Bay Ridge Democrats, a Brooklyn club which endorsed Mr. de Blasio’s then-fledgling candidacy in early 2013. His old boss, Mr. Gentile, would later endorse Mr. de Blasio as well. Most recently, Mr. Brannan was one of the de Blasio administration operatives working to secure the renewal of mayoral control of city public schools, sources say.

Before joining City Hall this month, Ms. Kletter spent eight years as an associate with the firm Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, while also remaining in Mr. de Blasio’s orbit. She served as a treasurer for a de Blasio campaign committee and as a volunteer for Working Families Party, a left-leaning political party with close ties to the mayor. Both Mr. Brannan and Ms. Kletter were members of Mr. de Blasio’s inauguration committee.

At Legislative Affairs, Ms. Kletter will represent City Hall and city agencies at the City Council, and serve as a liaison between Mr. de Blasio and the city comptroller, public advocate and the borough presidents.

De Blasio Taps Two Allies to Join His Administration