What you should know
- Mayor Eric Adams may have violated New York City ethics law by asking the NYPD to hire his brother, Bernard, before obtaining permission from the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB). English) of the city, based on interviews with local ethics experts.
- The process to hire Adams’ brother began just before Christmas to make him deputy commissioner of the New York City Police Department, earning roughly $240,000 a year, according to sources familiar with the application.
- Bernard Adams, a retired NYPD sergeant, has been working for the past decade as a parking enforcement chief at a Virginia university.
NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams may have violated New York City ethics law by asking the NYPD to hire his brother, Bernard, before obtaining permission from the Conflicts of Interest Board (or COIB). for its acronym in English) of the city, according to interviews with local experts in ethics.
“No city official can take action to hire a brother or sister without prior approval from the Conflict of Interest Board. That approval has to come first,” said Mark Davies, who served as executive director of COIB. for 22 years. .
The process to hire Adams’ brother began just before Christmas to make him deputy commissioner of the New York City Police Department, earning roughly $240,000 a year, according to sources familiar with the application.
Bernard Adams, a retired NYPD sergeant, has been working for the past decade as a parking enforcement chief at a Virginia university. Mayor Adams said in televised interviews this week that his brother is the person he trusts most to oversee his personal security, though a senior city official familiar with the hiring said the mayor “just wanted to give his brother a job “.
Bernard Adams has been on the city payroll and has been reporting for work since Dec. 30, according to a City Council official briefed on the schedule.
But the official said the mayor’s team didn’t start the COIB approval process until he made a phone call on January 7, the same day our sister network News 4 inquired about hiring his brother, who has yet to be hired. had made public.
The City official added that the mayor’s office is still in the process of drafting the waiver request, which they hope to submit on Wednesday or Thursday.
Both the City Council and the NYPD declined to comment.
“Requesting a waiver from the Conflict of Interest Board later does not remedy a prior ethics violation,” said Davies, who declined to jump to conclusions on this specific case because he is retired and not involved.
He noted that just “sending a resume” from an immediate family member has resulted in fines, such as a former election commissioner who paid a $5,500 fine in 2014 for helping his sister get a job by sending a resume to colleagues.
The City Council has not explained why Adams’ brother was hired before applying for the permit, other than to say that Adams wanted his security team ready before his first day on the job.
An aide to the mayor’s office suggested that Adams may not have submitted the waiver request until he took office, although there is some uncertainty as to whether that is correct. The Conflict of Interest Board says public servants can seek the board’s advice before beginning their city service.
Although he was initially hired as a deputy commissioner at a salary of about $240,000 a year, Bernard Adams’ salary will be reduced to $210,000 and his title will now be Executive Director of Mayoral Security, according to a City official.
The official insists that the initial, highest-ranking position was “just a placeholder” to get Bernard Adams on the payroll, adding that Bernard Adams’ NYPD pension will be suspended while he earns a salary from the City.
Law enforcement sources say the move raised some eyebrows at One Police Plaza, and that Adams’ message that he wanted his brother hired was delivered by Timothy Pearson, a retired NYPD inspector who was serving on the team. of Transition.