Adams’ staffer placed on leave amid federal investigation – NBC New York

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By Dan Sears

The Mayor’s Office in New York City recently announced — following the news of a federal investigation into the Mayor’s campaign — that they put a member of its staff on leave after they determined the staffer acted “improperly” and tonight two people familiar with the matter tell NBC the staffer’s name is Rana Abbasova, the Director of Protocol for International Affairs.

We’ve reached out through calls and an email to Abbasova for comment, she has not yet responded. Abbasova has not been charged in any investigation and no official has said she acted illegally.

News of Abbasova’s alleged misconduct was first reported when a lawyer confirmed that Mayor Eric Adams’ cell phone and iPad were seized by the FBI.

Adams campaign attorney said last week, “after learning of the federal investigation, it was discovered that an individual had recently acted improperly.”

He said, “in the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators” but did not detail Abbasova’s specific conduct.

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The Mayor’s spokesperson Fabien Levy in a new statement today says in-part, “this individual was a junior staffer who was immediately placed on leave, and still remains on leave today.”

“While we continue to cooperate with investigators, the most important thing to remember is that the mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing”, Levy wrote.

None of the statements specifically say why the Mayor’s office believes Abbasova acted inappropriately. 

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