New York City Mayor Eric Adams seeks approval from city ethics officials to hire his brother as head of its security detail
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams asks the city’s ethics officials for approval to hire his brother as head of its security detail.
The new mayor has appointed his brother Bernard Adams, a former New York Police Department sergeant who most recently served as the deputy director for parking at Virginia Commonwealth University, to serve as executive director of mayoral security.
The mayor’s office said Wednesday it plans to file paperwork this week seeking a waiver from the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board, an independent agency that oversees and enforces conflicts of interest law. the city. It is unclear whether the board would grant such a waiver and if not, whether Adams can continue to work for his brother.
The law prohibits officials from using their position to obtain “any financial gain, contract, license, privilege or other personal or personal advantage, direct or indirect” for themselves or any associated person, including a sibling. The Council for Conflicts of Interest can grant an exemption from the law if it determines that conduct “is not contrary to the purposes and interests of the City”.
Adams wouldn’t be the first mayor to apply for a waiver to hire a family member.
His predecessor Bill de Blasio was granted a waiver to hire his wife, Chirlane McCray, as chair of the New York City Mayor’s Fund to Promote New York City’s charitable arm, but McCray was not paid for the role.
Eric Adams, a Democrat and former NYPD captain, has defended the choice, saying his brother was the most qualified person for the job and that “protection is personal.”
“I trust my brother. My brother understands me and if I have to put my life in someone’s hands, I want to put it in the hands of the person I deeply trust,” Adams told reporters at a news conference on Sunday.
Adams, the city’s second black mayor, said his brother’s experience as a police officer qualifies him to keep the mayor safe, especially amid what he called “heightened threats” and “a serious problem with white supremacy.”
Adams said he wants a security detail that will allow him to move among the people of New York, as he did during his early days in the office when he rode the subway to City Hall and biked to a television interview.
“I don’t want to be away from my audience. Many people saw me take the subway. That’s how I’m going to move around the city,” he said.
The position is part of the NYPD and will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the mayor’s security department, City Hall said. Bernard Adams started on December 30, two days before his brother was sworn in, and it comes with a salary of $210,000.
According to Eric Adams’s office, he does not take city pensions while receiving the salary.
Adams said on Sunday that his brother would also oversee the security of other city officials who are entitled to security details, but Adams’s office said Wednesday that Bernard Adams will only oversee the mayor’s security. The mayor’s office declined to explain the change in his brothers’ duties.
While there are people with the title of executive director at the NYPD, a recent list of department employees and positions does not list executive director of mayoral security. The mayor’s protective division works under the department’s intelligence bureau, headed by chief Thomas Galati, and the bureau’s municipal security division, which is headed by a police officer with the title of Inspector. It was not clear how Bernard Adams would fit into his role as civil director.
The mayoral security detail has been scrutinized and potentially abused in the past. City detectives ruled in October that then-Mayor De Blasio misused the city’s resources by taking his police security officer across the U.S. during his brief run-up to the presidency at a cost of about $320,000, and by letting his adult son use the details. to drive around town and to Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut.
Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak contributed to this report.