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Forest City's Cotton takes leave to volunteer for Mayor's Office on Sandy recovery

Ashley Cotton, Forest City Ratner's VP for External Affairs, has taken a leave through the rest of November to volunteer with the Mayor's Office to work on the recovery after Hurricane Sandy. She announced the news in a tweet, as well as in her auto-reply message.

Cotton previously worked for Andrew Cuomo when he was campaigning for Attorney General and after he took office, then worked for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. In March 2010, she began as Senior Policy Advisor in the Mayor's Office. She moved to Forest City in February 2012.

Her volunteer stint is surely a public-spirited gesture. But it also might help Forest City Ratner's reputation within City Hall. Mayor Mike Bloomberg is a fan, though, according to the Times, developer Bruce Ratner over the years has berated agency heads who were unwilling to compromise as he sought.

I asked Cotton for some more details about what she's doing; she said she'd help out "in any way I'm asked" and noted, "It was cleared through attorneys on both sides."