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Bernard Adams: NYC Mayor Eric Adams' brother can serve as his advisor on mayoral security for a salary of $1, conflict of interest board says

CNN logo CNN 1/28/2022 By Athena Jones and Laura Ly, CNN
Mayor Eric Adams speaks at Governor Kathy Hochul announcement of completion of Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in New York on January 27, 2022. LaGuardia becomes first airport in the world with dual pedestrian skybridges. (Photo by Lev Radin/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images) © Lev Radin/Sipa USA/AP Mayor Eric Adams speaks at Governor Kathy Hochul announcement of completion of Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in New York on January 27, 2022. LaGuardia becomes first airport in the world with dual pedestrian skybridges. (Photo by Lev Radin/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Bernard Adams, the brother of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, can serve as the mayor's senior adviser for "Mayoral Security" for a $1 salary, according to a waiver granted by the city's Conflict of Interest Board (COIB).

The New York City Charter precludes a public servant from nominating an "associated" person, such as a family member, to a position unless a waiver is granted by the COIB.

Mayor Adams had initially planned to hire his brother as "executive director of mayoral security" at an annual salary of $210,000, The New York Times reported.


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The mayor said earlier this month that he had appointed his brother to be "in charge of his security," telling CNN's Jake Tapper that his brother was qualified for the job and he wanted someone he could trust to be in that position.

The appointment was subsequently reviewed by the COIB. City Hall officials said Bernard instead offered to serve for a nominal salary as an adviser based in the mayor's office to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

"Bernard Adams is uniquely qualified for this job, and in order to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, he offered to serve for the nominal salary of $1. We made this proposal to the Conflict of Interest Board and they've agreed, and we're grateful to Bernard for being willing to serve the city for no salary," Adams spokesman Maxwell Young said.

While Adams' security detail will continue to be overseen by the New York Police Department, Bernard will provide guidance and "advise the mayor and his staff on all manners of mayoral security and community engagement," City Hall officials said.

In his adviser position, Bernard will not have any subordinates and will not have any command authority over any member of the NYPD. Additionally, Adams must recuse himself from any decisions regarding the terms of Bernard's employment with the city, according to a letter written by Jeffrey D. Friedlander, chair of the COIB.

Bernard will continue to receive health insurance and a pension from his prior employment with the NYPD, City Hall officials said, but the mayor's office did not answer questions relating to the amount of the pension.

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