NYC Mayor paying his buddy $242K to be an "adviser"

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

I will confess that I’d had high hopes (okay… perhaps not “high” but at least “some”) for New York City Mayor Eric Adams when he came into office. The retired police chief and former Republican ran on a platform of restoring the police and getting the city’s crime levels back under control. The voters rewarded him, leaving his far more progressive primary competitors in the dust. And he has actually put some policies in place that should produce at least modest improvements. But he has also demonstrated disturbing tendencies toward nepotism and gaming the system for his own benefit or that of his friends and donors. The latest example showed up this week when it was revealed that his longtime friend and former police colleague, Timothy Pearson, has been living large on the taxpayer’s dime. Pearson is holding multiple paid positions simultaneously while also drawing his NYPD retirement benefits. One of those positions is listed as being a “senior adviser” to Adams. The Mayor’s office had somehow managed to keep Pearson’s salary a secret for the first four months in the position, but we now know that he is among the highest-paid municipal employees in the city, drawing a salary of more than $240,000 annually. (Daily Mail)


A retired police inspector, who is a close confidant of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, is being paid more than $242,000 by the city – making him one of its highest-paid employees.

Timothy Pearson was put on the payroll of the city’s economic development corporation by Adams on May 31, while retaining his prior job as head of security at the city’s only casino.

In addition to holding the simultaneous positions, he is also vying for one of three newly available, full-scale casino licenses, which would allow it to expand from electronic games to become a full-service casino.

Pearson’s salary as an “advisor” to the Mayor with no official municipal duties brings him only $10K less than deputy mayors receive and just $16K less than the Mayor himself. He is paid far more than other civil servants with far more experience and responsibilities.

As to his position with the casino, he’s not even one of the executives in charge of the operation. He’s the head of security. And yet he somehow seems to be involved in the process where his employer will be vying for one of only three full-scale casino licenses in New York. And he is very up-close and personal with Hizzoner himself. Isn’t that convenient?

It would be nice to think that this was simply some sort of one-off incident of a friend of the Mayor doing remarkably well for himself, but it’s not. Upon taking office, he tried to name his brother Bernard as the Deputy NYPD commissioner with a salary of nearly a quarter million dollars per year. That plan blew up in his face, but he finally named Bernard to be the “Senior Adviser for Mayoral Security.” (Funny how many friends and relatives wind up being “senior advisers,” isn’t it?) But after the appointment, the City Conflict of Interest Board stepped in and said that the brother could only be paid one dollar per year.


Prior to that, Adams appointed another member of his inner circle, Edu Hermelyn, to be the “senior adviser for strategic initiatives” at the Department of Social Services. (There’s that “senior adviser” tag again.) But shortly thereafter it was discovered that Hermelyn wasn’t even eligible for the job because he was also a Democratic Party official in the city. Hermelyn was forced to resign over the conflict of interest.

We also learned in May of this year that Mayor Adams had been heavily lobbying the NYPD to purchase some police equipment that he publicly endorsed. The police didn’t even want the equipment after testing it, but Adams kept up the pressure. It turned out that Adams’ current Chief of Staff and longtime political donor and supporter, Frank Carone, was a major stockholder in the company that makes the equipment and stood to profit handsomely if they were awarded the contract. Isn’t that convenient?

There have simply been too many instances of attempted nepotism and the greasing of the palms of his friends during Adams’ relatively brief time in office to overlook. Adams hasn’t been a Democrat for all that long, but he appears to have quickly embraced many of the worst impulses of his party’s roots in Tammany Hall.

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