De Blasio ups Eric Phillips to press secretary

He is replacing Karen Hinton in the role.

NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has promoted deputy communications director Eric Phillips to press secretary, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

De Blasio, nagged by state and federal investigations into his administration and dropping approval ratings, is preparing to run for reelection in 2017. Phillips will step into the position on Monday.

His predecessor, Karen Hinton, said last month that she was stepping down as the mayor’s chief spokesperson. Media reports noted a strained relationship with de Blasio and a failure to effectively explain his policies to the public. She announced her resignation just before news emerged that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was investigating de Blasio’s campaign fundraising.

Phillips has been working for the mayor for eight months, according to his LinkedIn profile. In his previous role, Phillips was responsible for drawing up communications strategy and policy for special projects and long-term initiatives.

He was previously VP at SKDKnickerbocker and the top policy and strategy aide to U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.)

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