NEW YORK CITY — New York City has a new jails chief as talk about a federal takeover of Rikers Island grows ever-louder.

Lynelle Maginley-Liddie will be the second Black woman to serve as the Department of Correction’s commissioner, announced Mayor Eric Adams.

Maginley-Liddie touted her relationship with court-ordered watchdogs and said she’ll immediately get to work on reforms for the city’s troubled jails.

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“As we forge ahead, I’m confident that we can restore the department to the levels of greatness we have seen before,” she said.

The appointment could prove pivotal as federal prosecutors seek a takeover of Rikers Island, known as a receivership.

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A receivership increasingly is seen by advocates and watchdogs as the only way to help fix persistent, and deadly, problems at Rikers Island. Increasingly scathing filings by federal monitor Steve J. Martin have effectively accused jail officials of hiding information about violence and deaths.

Adams has fought against any suggestion that a federal takeover will be the right thing for Rikers, which he said Friday has been broken for decades.

“Show me a successful receivership in the country,” he said.

“She’s the right leader for the right time,” he said about Maginley-Liddie.

Maginley-Liddle has worked eight years in the Department of Correction, most recently as first deputy commissioner and chief diversity officer.

She’ll take over for Louis Molina, who will stay in Adams’ administration in a role reporting to Philip Banks, the deputy mayor for public safety.

Molina has faced a barrage of criticisms and controversy during his tenure, from skipping to a judge admonishing him for interfering with a court-appointed monitor. Mostly recently, a Department of Correction investigator accused Molina of conducting an unlawful campaign to withhold information from Martin, the federal monitor, the New York Daily News first reported.

Advocates were generally positive about Maginley-Liddie’s appointment, but also maintained a federal receivership is the only step forward that’ll yield true reform.

“Given her years of service with the Department, Commissioner Maginley-Liddie should be well aware of the long-standing issues plaguing the City’s jail system,” advocates with The Legal Aid Society said in a statement. “We look forward to working with her in this new role to ensure that all people in City custody are treated with dignity, care and humanity.”

Darren Mack, a spokesperson for the Campaign to Close Rikers, was more blunt.

“Rikers is irredeemable no matter who is running it,” he said in a statement.

“Any commissioner who is committed to transparency and safeguarding the rights of people in custody will recognize that an isolated penal colony built on toxic land could never be consistent with those goals. We hope Commissioner Maginley-Liddie will focus on getting Rikers closed while reducing harm in every way possible for people there now, instead of trying to hide and justify its abuses.”

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