Trying to get in front of any criticism over his decision to hire a family member during his first week on the job, Mayor Eric Adams played defense over the weekend and shared insight to his brother's future role in the administration.
Two days after News 4 New York reported that Adams sought to appoint his brother, Bernard Adams, to a deputy commissioner position inside the NYPD, the new mayor revealed job would be in charge of his personal security detail.
"Number one, he will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me at a time when we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes," Adams told Jake Tapper Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
"Protection is personal. With the increase in anarchists in this city, we have a serious problem with white supremacy," the mayor reiterated at an unrelated press conference later in the day.
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The mayor's rationale stands in contrast to his previous declarations that he would travel throughout the city without a security detail.
"I won’t have a security detail. If the city is safe, the mayor shouldn’t have a security detail with him. He should be walking the street by himself,” Adams declared early in his mayoral campaign.
Bernard Adams, a retired NYPD sergeant, will once again serve in the department as a deputy commissioner assigned to the police commissioner's office. The role of deputy commissioner typically pays just under a quarter of a million dollars a year, about $240,000, sources said.
His appointment is under review by the city's Conflicts of Interest Board.
Bernard Adams most recently served as the assistant director of operations for parking and transportation at Virginia Commonwealth University's MCV campus (the university's medical center), according to his LinkedIn profile. He had been in that position since July 2021, after working as a manager in the same department for more than 13 years.
"My brother knows me, my brother, I trust him," Adams said Sunday. "If I have to put my life in someone's hand, I want to put it in the hand of the person that I trust deeply.”
News of his brother's appointment came hours after Philip Banks was named the deputy mayor for public safety, a positive revived after several decades. Banks, a top adviser to Adams, has been helping to reshape the police department for the new mayor’s administration, taking a leading role in the search that led to the appointment of Keechant Sewell as the city’s first female police commissioner.
Philip Banks abruptly quit the police department in 2014 after then-Commissioner William Bratton announced his promotion to First Deputy Commissioner. It was later revealed he was an unindicted co-conspirator in a police bribery scheme.
Banks denied any wrongdoing but apologized for what he said was a mistake in interacting with two men who went to prison for their involvement in the bribery scheme.
“I believe that Phil acknowledges there were some real mistakes and errors that were made, he was not accused of crime,” Adams said Sunday.