NYC's New Mayor Makes Controversial Hirings

Eric Adams appoints brother to plum NYPD position, Phil Banks III as deputy mayor for public safety
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2022 8:15 AM CST
NYC's New Mayor Hires Brother for Plum NYPD Position
New York City Mayor Eric Adams?speaks at a news conference on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

New York City's new mayor, Eric Adams, is getting right to work—and right to raising eyebrows, specifically with two new appointments. Getting the most buzz on Friday was the reveal by the New York Post that Adams has appointed his younger brother, Bernard Adams, to be a deputy commissioner for the NYPD. The Post got its hands on an official NYPD roster and spotted Bernard Adams' name listed along with that job description, and the mayor confirmed that his 56-year-old sibling, a retired NYPD sergeant, will serve in that role.

Per LinkedIn, Bernard Adams is currently the assistant director for parking at Virginia Commonwealth University, where his CV notes he's been employed since 2008. In his new NYPD job, which the Post notes typically pays around $242,000, Bernard Adams will oversee governmental affairs. It's not yet clear what that means, but a source tells the New York Times that the mayor's brother will be assigned to the office of new NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

That's not the only appointment that's got people talking: On Friday, City Hall announced that Philip Banks III, a former NYPD chief of department—the highest-ranking uniformed position within the organization—will serve as Eric Adams' deputy mayor. The controversy around Banks' hiring stems from the fact that he resigned from the NYPD in 2014 while he was the subject of a federal corruption probe. He was never charged with a crime, but "evidence reportedly showed he accepted gifts from two businessmen who were trying to bribe public officials," per City & State New York.

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The media group also notes Banks' own personal ties that are raising ethics questions: He's the brother of David Banks, the current chancellor of NYC schools. In a New York Daily News op-ed on Friday, Philip Banks announced his own appointment, denying he resigned to avoid a departmental trial and apologizing for spending time with the businessmen accused of bribery. "I love the law and I love this city," he writes. "I want to serve. I know I can help keep this city safe. So I will serve." (More Eric Adams stories.)

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