After initially seeking to install his brother to a high-ranking post with the NYPD, Mayor Eric Adams has placed him in charge of his security detail, the New York Daily News reports.
Bernard Adams, who retired as a sergeant from the NYPD in 2006, was going to be appointed deputy commissioner of governmental affairs position in the department, a position that comes with the authority to enact policy and a $240,000 salary.
When news of the proposed appointment broke, it was met with controversy and allegations of nepotism. Instead, he chose his brother as executive director of mayoral security, a City Hall official said Wednesday.
In his new role as security director, Bernard Adams will receive a lower salary of $210,000 and a lower rank than the deputy commissioner.
John Kaehny, executive director of the Reinvent Albany good government group, said the reassignment does nothing to address the glaring issue of nepotism.
“Adams wants to be the swagger mayor, which is great, but the mayor also should lead by example and when you’re hiring your brother, the example you’re setting is nepotism and conflicts of interest,” Kaehny said. “Not to mention that it’s likely not legal.”
According to the City Charter, elected officials are barred from providing any form of financial gain for relatives and associates. Previous mayors who hired their family members on their staff found a loophole in the law by securing waivers from the Conflicts of Interest Board. The difference is that Bernard Adams was appointed to a paid position while all the previous mayor’s family members were volunteers.
Last Friday, Adams’ team contacted COIB about a nepotism waiver even though Bernard Adams has been on the NYPD payroll since Dec. 30, the City Hall official confirmed.
Zach Tumin, a retired NYPD deputy commissioner of strategic initiatives, said the decision to downgrade Bernard Adams to an executive director position has influence but lacks ultimate authority.
“It takes Bernard Adams from 3-stars as deputy commissioner to zero stars as an executive director. He may still wield hefty power via influence, but cannot command by authority,” Tumin wrote on Twitter.
Upon retiring from the NYPD, Bernard Adams was employed as an assistant director of parking at a university in Virginia, which raised questions if he had the requisite experience to provide security for the mayor.
On Sunday, Mayor Adams remarked that his brother is the best person for the position.
“My life—my life—I want in the hands of my brother,” said the mayor, who’s a retired NYPD captain. “He knows his brother, and he’s going to keep his brother safe.”
Although he said on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t need a security detail as mayor, Adams argued that he needs his brother to do security for him due to an “increase in anarchists in this city” and “a serious problem with white supremacy.”
If approved for the position, Bernard Adams will accompany his brother at press conferences and other events.
“It’s a management position, so sometimes he will be out in the field with the mayor,” the City Hall source said.