A controversial aide to Mayor Eric Adams, who was suspended for inappropriate behavior, asked City Hall staff to delete texts after the FBI searched her home, a source close to the federal investigation told The Post.
Rana Abbasova, director of protocol in the Office of International Affairs, was suspended from her $80,000-a-year post after Adams’ lawyers learned of her efforts to stop the exchange of text messages, the source said.
Federal investigators probing Adams’ alleged fundraising irregularities then obtained a court order to retrieve Adams’ mobile devices to determine whether he had also received messages from Abbasova.
The mayor has received no message, the source said.
“It was immediately reported to investigators,” the source said, adding that any communication between Adams and Abbasova was “harmless” and not central to the investigation.
The FBI is investigating whether Adams’ team colluded with the Turkish government to boost his campaign with foreign donations and whether he pressured the FDNY to expedite approvals for a new Turkish consulate that had failed previous security inspections.
Part of the investigation focuses on whether the mayor’s campaign conspired with Brooklyn-based KSK Construction Group and the Turkish government to use “straw donors” to illegally funnel foreign money into his campaign coffers in exchange for favors , law enforcement sources previously explained.
Adams and no member of his campaign have been accused of wrongdoing.
The Post reported last week that the government had raided the homes of at least two people with ties to the mayor – Abbasova, who is originally from Azerbaijan, and Cenk Ocal, a former Turkish Airlines executive who worked on Adams’ transition team. Abbasova’s home in New Jersey was searched on November 2nd.
Abbasova, who lives in New Jersey, was suspended after a City Hall review found she had “acted inappropriately.”
It was not clear at the time that the action in question was her alleged attempt to delete text exchanges.
The FBI also raided the home of Brianna Suggs, a campaign adviser and lobbyist for the mayor, on Nov. 2, prompting him to leave a series of immigration meetings at the White House to return home.