Friday, October 10, 2014

McCray aide left $28K IRS tax lien off disclosure form


Filling out government forms is not her forte.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s embattled aide Rachel Noerdlinger left personal information off yet another government form, The Post has learned.
Noerdlinger failed to list her remaining debt from a 2011 IRS tax lien of $28,190 on a public financial disclosure form that the Conflicts of Interest Board requires all top city officials to file each year.
It’s the latest instance of first lady Chirlane McCray’s chief of staff withholding sensitive information.
Last week, the Department of Investigation found that Noerdlinger, who earns $170,000 a year, failed to disclose in her government background paperwork that she lived in Edgewater, NJ, with her convicted-killer ex-con beau, Hassan McFarlan.
The DOI form is not open to public scrutiny, but the COIB form is. Its purpose, in fact, is to let the public and the press review the finances of high-ranking city officials and managers for potential conflicts.
On Noerdlinger’s 2013 COIB form, she failed to mention a lien the IRS placed on her assets for unpaid taxes dating back to 2007 in the “List of Money You Owe” section.
Noerdlinger, an ex-aide to the Rev. Al Sharpton and an associate of scandalized lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, has since entered into a payment plan to settle up, according to her attorney.
After The Post inquired about the omission, mayoral aides said she is amending the form. The COIB form also has a private section, and the mayoral aides said Noerdlinger answered “Yes” when asked about outstanding tax liens but inadvertently failed to provide that information in the public portion.
Rachel reported her outstanding tax liens on her COIB financial disclosure report … it is not uncommon for filers to update their financial disclosure forms, especially first-time filers.
 - Marti Adams, mayoral spokesman
The mayor’s office insisted the omission wasn’t a big deal. “Rachel reported her outstanding tax liens on her COIB financial disclosure report,” said mayoral spokesperson Marti Adams. “She is in the process of including additional information, as it is not uncommon for filers to update their financial disclosure forms, especially first-time filers.”
Meanwhile, the DOI rejected a Freedom of Information Law request filed by The Post for its findings on Noerdlinger’s background-check flub — claiming “disclosure would warrant an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
The DOI has traditionally released its findings after cases are closed and the targets of investigations face penalties.
Noerdlinger got a mild slap on the wrist — a notice in her personnel file — for not listing her boyfriend on the background check.
DOI concluded Noerdlinger had not provided McFarlan’s name when specifically asked to identify whom she lives with — but concluded the omission wasn’t an attempt to deceive.
The mayor extended that free pass by declaring the “case closed” when questioned about it this week.
Noerdlinger didn’t respond to a request for comment.


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