New York City mayor allowed to hire brother, but with a caveat
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has received the green light to hire his brother, Bernard Adams, to serve as an adviser for mayoral security for just $1, after his previous plan for $210,000 yearly pay caused massive controversy and conflict of interest accusations.
In a ruling released on Thursday through a Freedom of Information request, the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board advised Adams to appoint his brother as an “uncompensated senior adviser for mayoral security,” who “would have no subordinates and no command authority over any member of the New York Police Department (NYPD).” The panel said that Bernard Adams would have to receive the “nominal amount of $1 per year” to become a city employee.
The terms of Bernard Adams’s future employment – as advised by the panel – is a far cry from the original plan by the mayor to make his brother a deputy police commissioner earning around $240,000 a year. Facing pushback over granting his younger sibling, a former police officer who most recently worked as a parking operations manager in Virginia, one of the key posts in the city, the mayor abandoned the idea and sought to have his brother lead mayoral security for a $210,000 annual salary instead. However, the mayor was forced to seek guidance from the conflicts of interest board amid mounting accusations of nepotism.
The younger Adams is expected to live off his $64,000 city pension if appointed to the adviser role, according to the New York Times.
In a statement on Thursday, the mayor’s spokesman, Maxwell Young, claimed that Bernard Adams himself “offered to serve for the nominal salary of 1$” to “avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.” The mayor is “grateful to Bernard for being willing to serve the city for no salary,” the spokesman said, adding that the mayor’s brother is “uniquely qualified for this job.”
The conflicts of interest board confirmed that it granted a “requested waiver” for the mayor to move forward with the appointment, while noting that Bernard Adams’s new role, though unpaid, is still considered “one of power and prestige.”