Under fire, New NYC mayor demotes his brother after giving him high-ranking, huge salary NYPD post

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Mayor Eric Adams has demoted his younger brother just days after appointing him to a high-ranking NYPD post, a move that sparked nepotism claims.

Mayor Adams on Friday named his younger brother as a deputy NYPD commissioner. The appointment was met with claims of cronyism.

Bernard Adams, a former NYPD sergeant who most recently served as assistant director for parking at Virginia Commonwealth University, was selected to man the post of  deputy commissioner, which typically pays just under a quarter of a million dollars a year, at about $240,000.

Under fire, New NYC mayor demotes his brother after giving him high-ranking, huge salary NYPD post 

The mayor had claimed his brother was qualified for the appointment and would head up his security detail. He responded to complaints about the appointment during a CNN interview following the announcement:

“Well, we have something here in the city called [the] Conflict of Interest Board. They do rulings and waivers; it’s going through that process now.

They will make the determination and we have a great system here in the city.

“Let me be clear on this. My brother is qualified for the position, number one. He will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me in a time where we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes.”

Immediately after the announcement, criticism about the decision began to grow. One such opponent to the appointment was Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York.

She said that New York residents wanted public officials to be hired for their qualifications, not their relations:

“New Yorkers expect that public servants are hired based on their unique qualifications and not because they are the mayor’s brother.

“The appointment of the mayor’s close relative does not inspire public confidence.”

After initially defending the appointment, the mayor appears to have decided to follow a different course. His 56-year-old brother will now serve as Executive Director of Mayoral Security, according to police officials.

The new appointment falls lower in rank than the previous title, and his salary will fall approximately $30,000 to about $210,000 annually.

The compensation is in line with that of an NYPD inspector, the title of the previous head of the team tasked with the mayor’s security, the Executive Protection Unit, according to the New York Post.

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Conflict of interest? New NYC mayor taps younger brother as a deputy police commissioner for $240k/year

January 10, 2021

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Mayor Eric Adams on Friday named his younger brother as a deputy NYPD commissioner, a move that immediately raised eyebrows.

The mayor appointed Bernard Adams, a former NYPD sergeant, to the role on Friday, according to news reports and police sources. The role of deputy commissioner typically pays just under a quarter of a million dollars a year, at about $240,000.

On Sunday, Mayor Adams defended his decision. The mayor said his brother was “qualified” for the position and would be in charge of his personal security.

The Mayor confirmed the reports during an interview with CNN Host Jake Tapper, who asked Adams:

“Is that true and if so, doesn’t that at least violate the spirit of the law in New York which says public servants’ friends and family members should not benefit from their positions?”

Adams answered said his decision will be reviewed by the City’s Conflict of Interest Board:

“Well, we have something here in the city called [the] Conflict of Interest Board. They do rulings and waivers, it’s going through that process now. They will make the determination and we have a great system here in the city.

“Let me be clear on this. My brother is qualified for the position, number one. He will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me in a time where we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes.”

The Mayor cited his brother’s history with the NYPD and said he needed someone he could trust close to him:

“My brother has a community affairs background, the balance that I need. He understands law enforcement. He was a 20-year retired veteran from the police department, and I need someone that I trust around me during these times for my security, and I trust my brother deeply.”

Bernard Adams, who is five years younger than the mayor, retired with the rank of sergeant after 20 years of service in 2006. The mayor, 61, retired from the NYPD as a captain.

Common Cause New York’s Executive Director Susan Lerner took issue with the Mayor appointing a family member to such a high position:

“It is unclear whether a waiver from the Conflict of Interest Board would be required for this appointment”

Common Cause New York is a government watchdog group. Lerner continued:

“New Yorkers expect that public servants are hired based on their unique qualifications and not because they are the mayor’s brother.

“The appointment of the mayor’s close relative does not inspire public confidence.”

Bernard Adams most recently served as the assistant director of operations for parking and transportation at Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV campus (the university’s medical center), according to his LinkedIn profile. He had been in that position since July 2021, after working as a manager in the same department for more than 13 years.

The appointment of the Mayor’s brother is not the first appointment by the new Mayor to draw questions. The Mayor’s decision to appoint Former NYPD Chief of Department Phillip Banks as his deputy mayor drew criticism.

Banks was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption probe and was forced to resign from the department in 2014 after accusations that he accepted bribes for favors.

The Mayor addressed concerns about Banks during the Tapper interview. He said that, although Banks made “real mistakes and errors” in the past, he never was “accused of a crime”:

“It really personifies why I need the best person for the job. I can’t leave bad people doing bad things to good people on the bench when I have a talented person that just made some bad calculations, bad decisions. He didn’t do anything that was criminal. Phil is a great person.

“Leaving that talent on the bench is the wrong thing to do. He’s the right person for this time to really bring together all of my law enforcement agencies and entities and he’s going to show New York this every day. He’s the right person for this job and I’m excited about having him on the team.”

Appointment of family members by New York City mayors is not uncommon. Michael Bloomberg onboarded his daughter, Emma, and sister, Marjorie Tavern, while mayor but they worked for free in lower posts.

Bill de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray was active in his administration, such as her role heading the failed $1.3 billion mental health initiative ThriveNYC. However, she was acting as the city’s First Lady and could not collect a salary.

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