AMERICAS – A political aide has picked up a six-figure pay packet for convention bid work.
Laura Santucci, former chief of staff to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, was paid six figures by the NYC & Co, the city’s tourism arm, according to reports. The payment was for the part she played in the administration’ unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Santucci left her City Hall job after Philadelphia won the contest. Organisers expressed concerns about New York’s ability to smoothly transport thousands of delegates from Manhattan to the proposed convention site at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
A report by the Politico website says that Santucci earned $100,000 to $250,000 for the job running the bid and cites documents filed with the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board.
NYC & Company receives about 40 percent of its funding from City Hall and its CEO is appointed by the mayor.
Peter Kadushin, a spokesman for the Mayor’s office, did not confirm Santucci’s earnings but told Politico they were “commensurate to what she would have earned working for City Hall.”
The Democratic National Committee announced the winning city on February 12, and Santucci had to wind down the operation, including returning unspent funds to private donors, Kadushin said. She worked on the bid for more than five month from November 1 to April 11.
Santucci had been earning $200,000 at City Hall before leaving for the Democratic National Convention job, where she was paid effectively the same salary, according to officials.After winding down the committee’s work, Santucci left city government to take up a UN post in Rome.