NYC Mayor Eric Adams Demotes Brother To Slightly Less Lucrative Crony Position

Eric Adams. Photo by 'Krystalb97,' Creative Commons License 4.0

New York City Mayor Eric Adams seems intent on shredding all the goodwill he received simply by not being Bill de Blasio. Last week, he gave his brother, who is related to him, a cushy job as deputy police commissioner. There was understandable backlash, which Adams confronted head on, demonstrating masterful centrist leadership. He claimed Bernard Adams was qualified for the high-ranking position specifically because he was his brother, and it’s true that’s a unique skill he possessed.

Bernard Adams would’ve been in charge of the New York Police Department unit that protects the mayor’s physical safety. Eric Adams seemed to think only a close personal relative would care if he lived or died. That’s a sentiment more suited for a crime family than a public servant.

But don’t let it be said that Adams isn’t receptive to constructive feedback. It seems that after some careful consideration, Adams has demoted his brother from the job he didn’t have yet. They’re still siblings and all but now, according to city officials, Bernard Adams will serve as executive director of mayoral security. This leads to one of my favorite recent New York Times sentences: "They could not say whether the title had existed before.” Really? They literally can’t say, like they’re under a witch’s spell? Maybe they’re suffering from mass amnesia. Either way, we do know that New York City has had 109 previous mayors. Send an intern to county records for a day or, you know, Google.

In his new role for which he’s fully qualified, Bernard Adams will only oversee his brother’s personal security and not any other elected officials. It’s a special practice. I suppose if shit goes down while Eric Adams is near any other politicians, his brother will at least yell “duck!” or something. New York taxpayers would’ve paid Bernard Adams $240,000 as deputy police commissioner but as executive director of mayoral security, Adams will have to get by on $210,000. (An “average” New Yorker will tell you over brunch in Tribeca that these are poverty wages.)

Bernard Adams will lose out on any pension payments from his prior service while in his new, totally legit position. That’s because the administration would have to show that no one else is qualified to serve as executive director of mayoral security, and that’s probably close to impossible.

The Times reports:

Indeed, the mayor’s selection of his brother seems to underscore his apparent distrust of the Police Department, which Mr. Adams cast as a hotbed of police abuse while he was a police officer and activist in the 1990s. He has publicly suggested that a police officer might have shot out his car’s rear window in 1996.

Now that’s a big shift from how Adams was covered during the Democratic primary. New York magazine wrote about his so-called “pro-police bet” that involved his vow to put more cops on the street, presumably to do something other than shoot out his car windows. Maybe they might solve a few crimes for a change. Adams insisted that the only people who wanted to “defund the police” were well-off white people. That’s probably news to Rep. Cori Bush or any longtime police abolition activist, but white moderates loved this rhetoric. They considered Adams the safe, status quo future of the Democratic Party.

When Adams won the Democratic primary last summer, very smart pundits declared this a full “rebuke” of the “defund the police" movement. Adams was going to fund the police, damnit! But that offer was apparently limited to brothers of Eric Adams.

Maybe New York got a true fuck-the-police mayor, after all. Too bad he’s so corrupt.

[New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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