New York Mayor Eric Adams has tapped his brother for a high-level job in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), raising questions regarding potential conflicts of interest, according to reports.
Bernard Adams, a retired police officer, will oversee governmental affairs in his role as a deputy police commissioner with the NYPD, the New York Post reported. The job comes with a salary of around $240,000, The Daily Beast said.
He most recently worked as assistant director of operations for parking at the medical campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, according to his LinkedIn, after retiring from the NYPD in 2006. He left the police department after 20 years of service, the Daily Mail reported.
Critics have suggested that it could breach conflict of interest rules.
“New Yorkers expect that public servants are hired based on their unique qualifications and not because they are the mayor’s brother,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of government watchdog Common Cause New York, in an email to the Daily News.
“It is unclear whether a waiver from the Conflict of Interest Board would be required for this appointment,” she added. “Even with a waiver, the appointment of the Mayor’s close relative does not inspire public confidence.”
Political magazine City & State New York noted that such an appointment might violate the New York City Charter, specifically rules regarding conflicts of interest. Chapter 68 of the charter, it said, says that public servants cannot use their position to help a person “associated” with them obtain a private or personal advantage.
The charter clarifies that a person “associated” with a public servant includes siblings, children, parents, and spouses.
City & State noted, however, that the appointment would formally be made by the NYPD commissioner, rather than the mayor — a potential legal loophole.