NEW YORK – Mayor’s frontman Eric Adams spent Wednesday morning trying to question where he sleeps, with a tour of his cluttered basement apartment in Brooklyn and an emotional explanation for his insistence on privacy.
On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that Adams, the district president of Brooklyn, has spent the night and stored late at night and early in the morning in the government building where he and his staff work. When he did not lay his head in the taxpayer-owned building, official documents and information from his campaign presented conflicting accounts of where he lived.
In response, Adams and his team on Wednesday tried to answer questions about his stay with a press conference with coffee and vegan pastries, providing new or changed details about his life situation, leaving several disagreements.
The candidate, speaking outside his four-unit Bedford-Stuyvesant townhouse, unequivocally denied living in the partnership he owns with his longtime partner in Fort Lee, NJ.
“How foolish would anyone be to run to be mayor of New York City and live in another municipality?” Asked Adam standing by his son Jordan.
However, he has convened campaign events from the Garden State unit.
Adams called in a couple of mayoral forums in January and February from across the Hudson, according to a POLITICO comparison of his virtual background with property listings and floor plans for the property. Campaign adviser Evan Thies confirmed the position on Wednesday shortly after Adams’ press conference.
Adams also performed at five online events hosting the city president’s office in 2020 from the New Jersey apartment.
His opponents answered questions regarding his whereabouts.
“I have said that Eric Adams is unprincipled. He does not follow the rules of the road. He has been killed by corruption investigations everywhere he goes, “said another leading candidate, Andrew Yang, at a campaign stop on Wednesday. “And now he’s probably living in New Jersey.”
Yang, who had previously been a front-runner in the Democratic primary, demanded Adams release his E-ZPass records from the past few years, adding: “If you’ve been to Brooklyn, it will not show anything, and so we will continue. ”
Adams said he used to go to New Jersey on a regular basis over the weekend to visit his partner, Tracey Collins, but skipped the country’s travels at the height of the pandemic last year when he moved into his Brooklyn Borough office. Hall to maximize time spent work. Until Saturday, he said he had not seen her for two months because of his hectic work schedule.
“I never hid the fact that I own a co-op in New Jersey with Tracey, but my permanent residence is in Brooklyn,” Adams said.
He said he spent most of his days campaigning ahead of the June 22 Democratic proclamation, leaving him some time to complete his official duties as city president.
“I have entered the town hall at 1 in the morning and have worked until 3 to 4 with my employees who come in because they believe – and then leave me at. 6:30, 7 to go to the train station, ”he said. “It’s not a mystery where I am.”
POLITICO observed Adams enter the government building near midnight several times over Memorial Day weekend, and a rival campaign discovered similar activity four consecutive evenings last week.
Thies said Adams travels to New Jersey by bus or government car and said he has instructed his government employees to provide E-ZPass records.
The accounts of his interstate journey were part of a tearful background story that Adams passed on outside his brownstone Wednesday morning. He recalled an incident from his days as an outspoken member of the NYPD when someone shot at his car during a prior drive – an event that spurred him to closely protect his personal life from then on.
“My secret is my family,” he said. “I signed up for this life. They did not sign up for this life. ”
At the same time, Adams and his team tried to clear up disagreements regarding his living conditions by offering new or changed details compared to the day before.
Thies, for example, said Tuesday that Adams lived in the basement of the house. His son and a tenant lived on other floors of the property and one unit was vacant. But on Wednesday, his son said he lives in New Jersey and spends the night when he’s late in town for elementary school or work. And Thies said the vacant unit is now full.
The interior of the basement unit, which Adams showed to reporters, contained food and sneakers that did not appear to belong to the 60-year-old, immaculately-dressed vegan. Thies said Jordan spent time in his father’s apartment watching cable TV and occasionally sleeps on the couch but goes upstairs when his father comes home.
He also said Adams has filled the vacancy.
Adams bought the property in 2002 and, according to Thies, has lived there occasionally for years until he moved in permanently in 2017. At some point around 2013, he signed his share of a Prospect Heights partnership with his ex-girlfriend and moved into an apartment on McKeever Place while renovating the Lafayette Avenue House – a timeline confirmed by his right to vote.
His opponents did not buy it.
“OK, can we just talk really well for a moment here? This is bizarre, ”said Maya Wiley, another leading mayoral candidate, during a campaign stop in Manhattan. “I think there are some straight questions that are just basic about where you live, Eric. And where are your tax returns? How many years have you charged rent on properties without reporting them. ”
Despite the tried and tested clarity, numerous details about Adams’ property portfolio remain unclear or inaccurately reported in government records.
His four-unit home is listed with the city housing agency as a three-unit house and is not registered as required by apartment buildings. Thies said the department’s website is incorrect and an agency representative did not respond to questions from POLITICO.
Adams said he changed several years of tax records to reflect rental income omitted from 2017 through 2019 – which POLITICO discovered by comparing his returns with his financial information recorded with the city’s conflict of interest. The Adams campaign has not yet provided the clarified forms.
There are still questions in Adams’ campaign offices. Thies said he has used space in MetroTech, an expansive office campus near Borough Hall. It also happens to be where Frank Carone – a lawyer for the Brooklyn Democratic Party who unofficially supports Adams’ campaign – has office space.
His campaign funding applications do not reflect payments for office rentals to Carone. Adams confirmed on Wednesday that he rents space from Carone in MetroTech – but campaign documents do not show such payment.
Thies said it was rolled into a $ 7,500 fee for petitioning that Adams pay Carone and would be more clearly delineated in a future filing.
Adams appeared on CNN at 10 a.m. Wednesday and told anchor Don Lemon that he would release his E-ZPass records “immediately.”
After the interview, just after noon. 23, Adams arrived at his Bed-Stuy residence in his government vehicle and went into the basement.
Jesse Naranjo contributed to this report.