De Blasio Picks Budget Director With Close Albany Ties

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013  |  Updated 12:56 PM EDT
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De Blasio Picks Budget Director With Albany Ties

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Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has picked a former financial adviser to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as his budget director.

De Blasio announced Wednesday that Dean Fuleihan would serve in the post.

Fuleihan left his job in Albany in 2011, after 33 years working for the assembly. Recently he has worked for the State University of New York as an executive vice president.

Fuleihan's ties to Albany could be crucial for de Blasio, who campaigned on a promise to raise taxes on the rich to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, a move that would require approval of state lawmakers.

De Blasio takes office amid a looming financial crisis related to union contracts. All 300,000 members of the municipal labor force have been working on expired contracts for years, and labor leaders want retroactive and current raises.

Those costs could exceed $7 billion, nearly 10 percent of the city's entire budget.

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