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Woman who posed as reporter, confronted NYC mayor on toddler mask mandate fired from city job

Daniela Jampel was terminated from the NYC Law Department on Monday, the same day she confronted Mayor Eric Adams.
New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks at City Hall on April 4, 2022.
New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks Monday at City Hall.NYC Mayor's Office

A New York City Law Department employee who crashed Mayor Eric Adams' press conference posing as a reporter to confront him over toddler mask mandates has been terminated from her job.

Daniela Jampel, who served as assistant corporate counsel for the law department, questioned Adams on the mask requirement for pre-schoolers during the Q&A portion of an unrelated Monday news conference on LGBTQ issues.

“Three weeks ago, you told parents to trust you, that you would unmask our toddlers. Ten days ago, you stood right here and you said that the masks would come off April 4. That has not happened,” Jampel said. “You reneged on your promise.”

When someone tried to cut Jampel off, Adams insisted she finish, telling her to “turn on your phone so you can get my answer correctly.” 

“So, my questions are what is the irreparable harm to children age 2 to 4 in taking off their masks just as they do in Long Island, just as they do in Westchester?" Jampel continued.

Adams defended his decision, citing an uptick in Covid-19 cases. 

“I made the announcement that we were looking to announce today, which is Monday, to take the masks off children 2 and 4 years old. But I also stated, if we see an uptick, we will come back and make the announcement of what we’re going to do,” Adams said. 

“There’s a new variant, the numbers are increasing, we’re going to move at the right pace and that’s the role I must do," he continued. "That’s what I stated. I’m living up to my promises.”

Under the order, face masks are mandatory for New York City toddlers in day care and public 3-K school programs. 

The New York City Law Department's spokesperson confirmed Jampel was terminated Monday, and the decision was made prior to her appearance at the press conference.

“We hold all of our employees to the highest professional standards. In public statements, Ms. Jampel has made troubling claims about her work for the city Law Department. Based on those statements, the decision had been made to terminate her prior to today,” the spokesman said. 

“Today’s events, however, which include her decision to lie to City Hall staff and state she was a journalist at a press conference, demonstrate a disturbing lack of judgment and integrity," the statement continued. "As of today, she is no longer an employee of the Law Department.”

Reached by NBC News on Tuesday, Jampel said that she is in the process of retaining counsel and has no further comment at this time. 

Jampel has been an outspoken opponent of Covid-19 restrictions in schools on her Twitter account and is a founding member of #keepNYCschoolsopen, a coalition of NYC public school families who fought to keep schools open amid the pandemic. 

The decision to terminate Jampel came after a Friday tweet that has since been deleted, a city source told NBC News on Tuesday.

In that tweet, she criticized Adams for keeping the toddler mask mandate in place, saying her job with the city included defending “cops who lie in court, teachers who molest children, prison guards who beat inmates,” and that she was ashamed of her office, the New York Post reported.