Mr. Hatch’s work experience seems to align more neatly with his new job than either Ms. Fialkoff’s or Mr. Gutman’s, and gives him the sort of cross-agency knowledge that could aid his delivery of services in his new position.
At the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, Mr. Hatch, who has worked as an employment lawyer, will be spearheading a campaign to raise awareness of and enrollment in the federal child tax credit program. He replaces acting commissioner Sandra Abeles, who joined the agency in 2014, and oversaw its enforcement and technology divisions.
Mr. Hatch met Mr. de Blasio on John Edwards’s first presidential campaign, in 2004; Mr. Hatch was deputy state director for New York, while Mr. de Blasio was co-chair of the New York campaign. Mr. Hatch went on to work as chief of staff to Mr. de Blasio when he was a councilman, before charting a peripatetic career through New York and national politics, with stints at the Working Families Party and as state director for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Upon joining the de Blasio administration in 2014, Mr. Hatch hopped from one position to the next, whenever a competent, hardworking set of hands was needed. In his most recent position, he worked as “Covid-19 public-private partnership czar,” helping to raise $100 million worth of donations toward the city’s fight against the pandemic.
Mr. Hatch declined to comment for this story.
The three appointments contrast with Mr. de Blasio’s other major personnel moves this year. He named Meisha Porter, a longtime city education official, to become schools chancellor in February; for New York City Emergency Management, he hired John Scrivani, an accomplished emergency management professional; and at the Department of Correction, he chose Vincent Schiraldi, who had worked inside correction systems as an operator and outside of them as a reformer.
Yet appointing political allies to key government positions is not a new practice in city government, or for Mr. de Blasio, who in 2014 appointed one of his taxi industry fund-raisers to an assistant commissioner position at the agency that regulates the industry, the Taxi and Limousine Commission. He also appointed his 2013 campaign treasurer to run the city’s Department of Investigation. The Daily News reported that in 2014, Mr. de Blasio’s team assembled a spreadsheet of donors and lobbyists to use when making appointments to various boards.
Appointing a trusted ally to become a commissioner can also work to that agency’s benefit by elevating its profile and enhancing its pull with the mayor.