Former First Lady Michelle Obama denied helping embattled FDNY boss Laura Kavanagh secure her position as commissioner of the New York Fire Department, RadarOnline.com has learned.
In a surprising development to come less than four months after being named the 34th Fire Commissioner of the FDNY, Kavanagh, 40, is accused of using her loft and high-profile connections to secure the position.
According to the New York Post, rumors first started when it was suggested the former first lady gave Kavanagh – who served as a campaign staffer to former President Barack Obama – a “glowing” endorsement and urged New York City Mayor Eric Adams to promote the 40-year-old to FDNY commissioner.
Following the shocking allegation, Michelle was forced to speak out denying the accusation.
“Michelle Obama was never involved in any way with Commissioner Kavanagh’s appointment to the FDNY,” the former first lady’s office told the Post in a statement on Wednesday.
Kavanaugh previously served as the interim chief of the FDNY after the former commissioner, Daniel Nigro, retired from the position in February 2022.
Seven months later, Mayor Adams named Kavanaugh as the 34th Fire Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department on October 27, 2022 – making the 40-year-old the first woman to hold the position.
“New Yorkers and New York City’s ‘Bravest’ deserve an exceptional leader and Commissioner Kavanagh has the vision, the skills, and the compassion to lead the FDNY into the future,” Adams said in a statement at the time.
But Kavanagh quickly came under fire this week after she abruptly demoted three high-ranking fire chiefs.
In protest to Kavanagh’s decision, two other high-ranking FDNY chiefs – Chief of Department John Hodgens and Chief of Operations John Esposito – voluntarily sought their own demotions, causing turmoil throughout the entire 17,000-strong firefighter force.
“Hodgens is one of the most honorable individuals I have ever met,” former NYC firefighter-turned-attorney Pete Gleason said after Hodgens sought his own demotion. “I have no doubt that [Kavanagh] undermined his ability to be the uniformed leader of the FDNY, and that shows how treacherous she is.”
“She’s demoting people and she is supposed to run it past him,” Gleason added. “What she created is a very public embarrassment for the FDNY.”
“She’s essentially a PR person without any firefighting experience, and she’s lost the respect of the force,” another FDNY insider told the Post regarding Kavanagh’s new position.
Prior to becoming involved in the FDNY, Kavanagh worked on campaigns for former President Obama and other high-profile Democratic politicians in 2006.
She then joined former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration between 2006 and 2012, before being named the FDNY’s director of external affairs in 2014.
Despite never working as a firefighter, Kavanagh rose through the FDNY ranks before being named the fire department’s newest commissioner in October 2022.