Eric Adams defends homeless attack on migrant shelter

Mayor Eric Adams defended himself on Friday when faced with questions about potential conflicts of interest surrounding his new public safety adviser, alleging that his social services commissioner told him and the public about the city’s initial inability to accommodate migrants, misled.

Hizzoner’s response during a series of morning television and radio interviews came just hours after he ducked out of an event with City Hall’s press corps without answering reporters’ questions.

Earlier this week, The Post and NBC-4 announced that the chief spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services was fired after raising internal concerns that Commissioner Gary Jenkins was allegedly withholding from the mayor and the public that his agency violated the long-standing “right for protection”. Demand left four families stranded at a Bronx reception facility.

City Hall has defended Jenkins since the firing became public, claiming that he did not know the exact details of the well-known ordinance despite having spent decades in the profession.

New York City Department of Human Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins addressed questions at a city hall about how an influx of asylum seekers has been accommodated into the NYC housing system.
Social Services Commissioner Gary Jenkins is accused of leaving four migrant families stranded in the Bronx.
William Farington

Adams doubled down on those statements on Friday when asked if he was surprised Jenkins didn’t know the details.

“No,” Hizzoner told WCBS-AM. “There are many laws that we have to abide by and if you look at the number you just gave, no family should be sleeping on the floor.”

He added: “But like I said, 5,000 people were processed by Gary Jenkins and his agencies. That is really commendable.”

The next day, The New York Times and The Post reported that Adams’ longtime friend and new public safety adviser, Timothy Pearson, was still on the payroll of gambling company Resorts World, even after taking a job in administration.

City employees are typically barred from dual employment in the private sector without first receiving a waiver from the Conflicts of Interest Board, which Pearson has yet to receive, officials said.

Pearson, a retired NYPD officer, is also allowed to continue receiving his police pension.

Of potentially more concern, Resorts World is fighting bitterly to win one of three new downstate casino licenses approved by state legislators this spring, allowing it to add lucrative table games — like craps — to its slot machine operations at Queens’ Aqueduct Raceway .

Ethics watchdogs were quick to flag Pearson’s hiring when Adams appoints a voting member to the board who must approve all new casino licenses across the five counties.

Timothy Pearson stands behind Eric Adams.
Mayor Eric Adams argued that 9/11 first responder Timothy Pearson qualified as a public safety consultant.
Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Additionally, although his primary focus was public safety, Pearson was assigned to the Economic Development Corporation, which ethics watchdogs say poses another clear conflict of interest.

They say the agency, which operates as City Hall’s main line of business, is likely to be involved in discussions about the new casino.

Pearson’s addition comes as Adams has been trying to get a handle on the police response to the 37 percent rise in crime in the Big Apple this year.

A report of gunshots fired at Resorts World Casino in Queens on Monday, October 18, 2021 has been filed.
Critics question whether public safety adviser Timothy Pearson will play a role in helping Resorts World acquire a state gaming license.
Robert Mecea

“If someone says, ‘Well, he hired someone he knew;’ I mean, what’s wrong with that?” Adams said NY-1’s Pat Kiernan when asked about the controversial settings on Friday.

“If you know someone qualified, like Tim Pearson – former Police Department Inspector; As a hero during 9/11, he was in the buildings when the buildings collapsed, instead of fleeing he went back to help,” he added. “Should I just succumb to those looking for employment – and they’re not saying he’s not qualified?” Eric Adams defends homeless attack on migrant shelter


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