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Menchaca Cans Three Staffers Right Before Christmas

Openly gay Brooklyn pol refuses to explain why he fired nearly half his staff

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Brooklyn City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca fired three staffers just days before Christmas, according to the New York Daily News.

A spokesperson for Menchaca, who is the borough’s first and only openly gay elected official, declined to comment when asked by Gay City News why the staffers were dumped. The spokesperson also would not elaborate on whether the firings were related or reflected three separate problems in the councilmem­ber’s office staffing.

The Daily News reported that a former staffer believed Menchaca hired life coach Gillian Kaye to advise him on decisions related to staffing.

“Gillian fed Carlos’ ego — that he was the most important person, that his needs mattered most, and that we were all supposed to stop and pause our lives,” that former staffer told the Daily News.

The three staffers fired this month declined to speak to the Daily News, so that comment reflects the views of someone who left Menchaca’s office at least eight months ago.

The office of the 38-year-old councilmember has been plagued by high turnover throughout the year, with several staff members leaving — even before he axed the three during the thick of the holiday season. One staff member left each month for the first four months of the year, according to the report.

Menchaca’s City Council website lists seven staffers on his team, meaning that roster has since been trimmed down to just four people.

Now in his second term, Menchaca rose to the Council in 2013 when he unseated incumbent Sara González, who tried unsuccessfully to regain her seat last year, when she earned just six percent of the vote in a three-way primary battle. In that same contest, Menchaca bested veteran State Assemblymember Félix Ortiz, as well.

Menchaca ascended to co-chair the Brooklyn Council delegation, but wound up getting booted from that post last year in a move that he explained was related to his opposition to the city Economic Development Corporation’s $115 million plan to redevelop the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park. Others said his fellow Brooklyn delegation members felt he didn’t sufficiently coordinate with them.

Menchaca, also the first Mexican-American member of the Council, represents a district encompassing large immigrant communities — both Latinx and Asian — and includes Sunset Park, Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, and parts of Borough Park, Dyker Heights, and Windsor Terrace.

Updated 6:33 pm, December 27, 2018
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