NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mayor Eric Adams’ brother is leaving his volunteer post as a mayoral security adviser, a position he took after controversy over initial plans to hire him in a high-paid city job.
In an interview that aired Friday, Bernard Adams told PIX11 News that he’ll wrap up at City Hall next week. The mayor then publicly thanked his brother for his role in the Adams administration, now a little over a year old.
“When it comes to protecting my life, there was no one I trusted more than my baby brother,” the mayor said in a statement tweeted by a spokesperson.
Both brothers are retired New York Police Department officers. Bernard Adams went on to work as a parking administrator at a Virginia university as his brother, a Democrat, went into New York politics. He won a state senate seat, the Brooklyn borough presidency and then the 2021 mayor’s race.
Days after being sworn in, Eric Adams appointed his brother as a deputy police commissioner, a move that stirred questions about how much authority the NYPD’s then-new commissioner would have. Next, the mayor proposed making his brother the $210,000-a-year head of the mayoral security detail, a team staffed by police officers and housed under the NYPD.
City law bars public servants from using their position to obtain “any financial gain, contract, license, privilege or other private or personal advantage, direct or indirect” for themselves or an associated person, including a sibling. But the city Conflicts of Interest Board can issue waivers.
While seeking such a waiver, Adams’ administration decided instead to have Bernard Adams serve as a senior security adviser for $1 a year. Prior mayors also have appointed relatives to volunteer posts.
At the time, Eric Adams said that bringing his brother into his administration “was never about the money” but about having a trusted hand with security.
Bernard Adams told PIX11 News he helped put together a strong security team for his brother and now plans to enjoy more time with his family.
He said leaving City Hall is “definitely bittersweet because I love him, but I’ll still call him, big bro, when I need to talk to him.”