Oh, brother: Eric Adams makes controversial appointments in first week

State Politics

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams accomplished a lot in his first week, but some of his decisions were not without controversy.

The mayor’s younger brother, Bernard Adams, was reportedly granted a new job as a deputy commissioner in the NYPD, raising legal and ethical questions.

City Hall would not deny or confirm the hiring of Bernard Adams to PIX11 News, but political sources told us Bernard Adams would be reporting to Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell in the new role. 

“The public blowback already has been swift and just people disappointed with Eric Adams,” Jeff Coltin, a senior reporter with City & State, explained. “There’s specific conflict of interest laws against a public official or even a public servant, using their influence to get loved ones and relations jobs. It really seems like Eric Adams is coming in violation of that here.”

Susan Lerner of Common Cause/NY told PIX11 News in a statement, “as the City Charter makes clear, New Yorkers expect that public servants are hired based on their unique qualifications and not because they are the Mayor’s brother.”

Another appointment of the Adams administration has also raised eyebrows.

Philip Banks, who resigned from the NYPD in 2014 as he was under federal investigation for corruption, was named the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety on Friday. He’s the brother of the new city schools chancellor, David Banks.

City Hall pointed out Philip Banks was never charged with a crime.

“I need a partner in government who understands what it takes to keep New Yorkers safe,” Mayor Adams said after appointing Philip Banks.

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