She was once Mayor's Bill de Blasio’s top legal counsel before leaving City Hall to eventually make a name for herself on national television. Now, Maya Wiley appears to be moving closer to jumping into the race for mayor.

What You Need To Know

  • Wiley is leaving her job as an MSNBC political analyst to explore a potential run for mayor

  • Wiley previously chaired the Civilian Complaint Review Board

  • The civil rights activist has never held public office, but she’s built national name recognition in recent years

  • Sources say Wiley is exploring a run but has not made a final decision yet

A spokesperson for MSNBC confirmed Tuesday that Wiley is leaving the network where she works as a high-profile political commentator to explore a potential run for mayor.

"We have a Black woman who is incredibly talented when it comes to understanding the law, when it comes to understanding police reform," Christina Greer, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, told NY1.

Wiley would shake up what is already a crowded field, which includes City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“There are people who really respect the fact she has been able to use her legal experience to break down really complex concepts to a wider audience," Greer said.

It is unclear what kind of base Wiley, who has never held elected office, would have among Democratic voters. She would also start the campaign at a significant deficit when it comes to fundraising.

After leaving City Hall she served as chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the city's independent police oversight agency, and she is currently the senior vice president for Social Justice at The New School.

In the last few years she has become a regular on cable news, speaking about the Department of Justice, the Trump Administration, and police reform.

Before chairing the CCRB, Wiley worked as Mayor de Blasio's chief lawyer. Wiley advised de Blasio on fundraising matters that resulted in scandal and a federal investigation into the mayor and his top advisers.

"Her challengers will try to tie her to not just de Blasio but the policy positions that he either acted on or refused to act on while she was working for him," Greer said.

As those investigations picked up steam, Wiley referred to de Blasio's outside advisers as "Agents of the City," a carefully crafted title used to justify shielding emails between the mayor and his advisers from public disclosure laws. The attempt to protect the correspondence resulted in a lawsuit by media organizations, including NY1.

Wiley did not return a request for comment. Sources familiar with her decision to leave MSNBC say she is still exploring a potential run, with no final decision made just yet.


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