Eric Adams’ Republican rival in last year’s city hall election, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, is urging the Department of Investigation to investigate the mayor’s dealings with convicted felons and his hiring of cronies with checkered pasts or questionable qualifications for high government posts to investigate .
“It’s one outrage after another,” Sliwa said in a letter to DOI Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber, which was copied to U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District in Manhattan and the East District in Brooklyn.
Sliwa asked the DOI to determine if Adams was getting free meals at the Osteria La Baia restaurant, run by Adam’s close friends, convicted felons Robert and Zhan Petrosyants.
The brothers faced 11 federal charges for allegedly participating in a check cashing program linked to medical billing companies. In 2014, both brothers each pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Robert Petrosyants was sentenced to six months in prison and Zhan to five years’ probation, Politico first reported earlier this year.
The New York Times ran a story in August that revealed reporters observed Adams eating at the Osteria La Baia on several occasions and did not see him paying for the meals. Adams said he personally paid monthly.
“Ironically, New York City police officers and state officials who do the same are punished (dealing with known criminals and free meals) for doing the same thing, but the mayor is immune to the same fate,” Sliwa wrote in his letter to DOI.
“Your agency needs to investigate the New York Times’ allegations about his food
criminals and demand that Adams provide alleged proof of payment. Your
The investigation should also determine why he associates with these convicted felons
something police officers are forbidden to do.”
He said DOI should exercise subpoena power when necessary.
“If police officers and other public officials are forbidden from accepting free meals, the mayor should have the same standard,” Sliwa said.
“If Mayor Adams didn’t pay for his meals, he would have violated city ethics
Rules. The city’s Conflicts of Interest Council advises officials not to accept any
valuable gifts given to them because of their position. If Adams were still a
Cop, would he be disciplined for accepting and connecting with free meals
known criminals. As chief executive of the city, he should set an example for all the workers of the city;
but he doesn’t seem to care.”
Additionally, in the letter to DOI, Sliwa mentioned Adams’ questionable top hiring.
Sliwa called on the DOI to investigate Adam’s “tainted” appointment of Philip Banks as deputy mayor for public safety, despite Banks — a retired NYPD chief — being named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a full federal police corruption investigation. The Post reported that authorities found hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank’s bank accounts as part of the investigation, although he was never charged.
He said identifying Banks as an unindicted co-conspirator “should have been a reason
not to appoint him Deputy Mayor for Public Safety.
“The Banks investigation has implicated three other senior police officers who were fired after pleading guilty to lesser charges. Also, Jeremy Reichberg, a prominent businessman, was convicted of bribery and other crimes. Reichberg was a close associate of Deputy Mayor Banks,” Sliwa said.
Elsewhere, Sliwa criticized Adams for hiring his former girlfriend and landlady, Lisa White, as the $241,000 NYPD Assistant Commissioner of Employee Relations. Previously, she was a supervisor for the 911 system.
“Nothing on her resume qualifies her for such an important position,” he said.
He also mentioned Adam’s hiring of Eric Ulrich, former Queens councilman, as the city’s building commissioner. Ulrich resigned earlier this month after it was revealed he was being investigated by Manhattan DAs in a gambling investigation.
Ulrich may have racked up debts playing backroom card games with respected Mafia associates at Ozone Park, drawing the attention of authorities conducting an organized crime investigation, sources previously told the Post.
Ulrich, Slliwa noted, had previously been linked to Robert Pisani, an associate of the Bonanno crime family, and a Howard Beach businessman. In 2018, Pisani was convicted of assault and assault
Ulrich wrote a letter of support to the court prior to Pisani’s sentencing.
When asked about his letter to DOI, Sliwa said, “There is a pattern here. Every few months there is something different. Adams reminds me of the MC Hammer song when he says ‘U Can’t Touch This’.”
A DOI spokeswoman declined to comment on Sliwa’s letter.
Adams’ office had no immediate comment.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/24/sliwa-urges-city-probe-of-adams-links-to-felons-suspect-hires/ Sliwa urges the city to investigate Adam’s ties to criminals and suspected hirers