One of Mayor Adams’ top aides, Lorraine Grillo, announced on Friday that she would be stepping down in the coming days, paving the way for a new first deputy mayor to take her place.
Grillo, who also served in leadership roles under both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, began working in city government in 1994 with the city’s Board of School Construction, where she served for more than two decades, overseeing the construction of dozens of schools and gaining a reputation effective administrator.
Under Adams, she assumed a much more important role, leading his efforts to increase government efficiency and serving as a key adviser as he acclimatized to his new job during his first year in office as mayor.
“When the mayor approached me about this job, we both decided it would be a year,” she said Friday morning on Fox 5’s Good Day New York. “My job would be to lay the groundwork for the government to move on. Some of these people have never been in government before, so I just had to lay it out and they took over. And they’re doing great.”
Grillo didn’t specify exactly who she meant by “a few of these people,” but rumors have been circulating for months that Sheena Wright, Mayor Adams’ deputy for strategic initiatives, is set to replace Grillo.
Prior to joining the Adams administration, Wright served as president and CEO of the United Way of New York City. A review of her LinkedIn profile shows that she had no city government functions prior to her job with the mayor.
During Grillo’s Friday morning appearance on Fox 5, Adams and his top advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin also showed up to present Grillo with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne.
“I can’t thank her enough for how great she was,” Hizzoner said of Grillo. “Ingrid has been with me throughout my career. She said, “You know what? We have to be here for Lorraine.”
Adams added that the “beauty” of the situation is that Grillo will still be “one call away”.
“I’ll call Lorraine,” added Lewis-Martin.
In September, the Daily News first reported that Grillo was likely to step down; The politician confirmed it when he announced it on Friday morning that Grillo will officially announce her resignation.
Her departure will come around the same time that another top adviser to Adams leaves. Adams’ chief of staff Frank Carone revealed in September that he would be leaving at the end of this year. Carone is both a personal friend of Adams and a political adviser and is expected to help lead Adams’ 2025 re-election campaign.
It’s still not entirely clear who will replace Grillo and Carone, but sources familiar with the inner workings of the administration told The News that Wright had been promised his first deputy mayor position and had been pushing for a new role for weeks.
“Over the past year, First Deputy Mayor Grillo has led a historic group of women deputy mayors to get things done and helped us write the first chapter of the Adams Administration,” Wright said in a written statement released by the mayor’s office. “As a colleague, mentor and friend, I will miss Lorraine’s presence at City Hall.”
According to sources, possible replacements for Carone include Wright; James Oddo, who is the chief of staff for Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi; Tiffany Raspberry, Senior External Affairs Advisor; and Camille Joseph Varlack, partner at Bradford Edwards & Varlack.
A spokesman for Adams did not immediately answer the question of who was in line to replace Grillo and Carone.
#Deputy #Mayor #York #Lorraine #Grillo #confirms #departure