- Monday Morning Memo
- Hot Seat
NYC Mayor Troubles, Budget Cuts, Biden Woes
Good morning from Buffalo, New York. Between Thanksgiving and the Continuing Resolution keeping the federal government open, this was the quietest week in a very long time. Unless you are Eric Adams…
The New York City Mayor continues to deal with the fallout of an investigation into his 2021 campaign and his top fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, over alleged illegal campaign contributions from individuals and entities with close ties to the Turkish government. To be clear, Adam’s has not been been accused of any wrongdoing, however he did abruptly return to town when the news of the investigation first broke and has since had his electronic devices searched by the FBI in an unusual development.
City Hall staffer Rana Abbasova tipped colleagues to “delete” their text exchanges hours after the feds raided her New Jersey home, a source close to the investigation into @NYCMayor's campaign said. nydailynews.com/2023/11/20/may… via @michaelgartland@NYDailyNews
— Emily Ngo (@emilyngo)
Nov 21, 2023
The Mayor has hired a high-powered law firm, WilmerHale, and has started a legal defense fund saying, “I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who have watched my work over all these years, and they’re saying, ‘Listen, we want to be with you during this period of time.’” In contrast, a new Marist College poll found that more than 70% of respondents believe the Mayor did something “illegal” or “unethical” in his dealings with the Turkish government.
Mayor Adams was also accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 1993 when he worked for the New York Police Department. The allegations come as the window for the Adult Survivors Act officially closed last week. The bill, signed by Governor Hochul last year, opened a one year look back period for victims of sexual assault to file claims against their abuser, even if it is outside the normal statute of limitation. Since passing the law, over 2,500 lawsuits have been filed and over half of those are prison-related claims alleging sexual abuse by correctional officers. The law enabled several high-profile claims, including the lawsuit by writer E. Jean Carroll alleging former President Trump sexually assaulted her in 1995. That case went to trial and Trump was found liable and was ordered to pay $5 million in damages.
.@NYCMayor on new sex assault claim: “This never took place.” Our search finds a history of other lawsuits filed by a plaintiff w/ same name - and an online book advising how to win pro se cases in court. “Never give up. You just may win.”
— Melissa Russo (@MelissaRusso4NY)
Nov 23, 2023
Brittany Commisso, who accused Gov. Cuomo of groping her at the Executive Mansion, is interviewed at the Times Union in 2021. Will Waldron/Times Union
Brittany Commisso, the Executive Chamber aide who accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment in 2021, has officially filed a lawsuit against the former Governor. Commisso claims that she was groped by Cuomo and was subjected to a pattern of “continuous sexual harassment” during her time as an executive assistant to the Governor.
The lawsuit also states that Commisso was retaliated against by the incoming Hochul Administration which led to “loss of career opportunities and advancement.” Cuomo has denied the allegations and the criminal misdemeanor charge that stemmed from Commisso’s claims was later dismissed.
State Senator Kevin Parker of Brooklyn, who voted in support of the bill, has himself been accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed under the Adult Survivors Act last week. The filing alleges that Parker raped Olga Jean-Baptiste in 2004 when Baptiste was helping coordinating aid for Haiti.
Parker is the Chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and Governor Hochul has indicated that the Senate should open an investigation into the matter, calling the allegations “absolutely shocking.” Parker has denied the allegations saying, “While I cannot comment on the specifics of this litigation, I am completely confident in assuring my constituents, colleagues, and supporters these allegations are absolutely untrue.”
Mayor Adam’s announced deep cuts to New York City’s Budget, citing the fiscal costs associated with the recent influx of migrants. The budget cuts, nearly $4 billion in total, will freeze the hiring of new police officers, close libraries on Sundays, and cut the Education Budget by over $1 billion over the next two years, to the detriment of summer school and universal pre-K programs. Adams admitted that these cuts were painful, but offered some hope that the federal government could alleviate the pain saying, “No city should be left to handle a national humanitarian crisis largely on its own, and without the significant and timely support we need from Washington, D.C., today’s budget will be only the beginning.” The hiring freeze will result in the number of NYPD officers dropping below 30,000 for the first time since the 1980s.
Gov. Hochul says she’s exploring ways to soften the steep budget cuts to the NYPD that the Adams administration announced last week — while at the same time vowing she won’t raise taxes
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews)
Nov 20, 2023
Patrick Hendry, the New York City Police Benevolent Association President said, “Cops are already stretched to our breaking point, and these cuts will return us to staffing levels we haven’t seen since the crime epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s. We cannot go back there.” Adams also was criticized by much of the City Council; however, they are largely powerless in relation to Adams’ Executive Authority over the budget process. Another casualty of the spending drawback is the composting initiative in the Bronx and on Staten Island, originally proposed by the Mayor, to deal with the city’s rat problem.
“Cops are already stretched to our breaking point, and these cuts will return us to staffing levels we haven’t seen since the crime epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s. We cannot go back there.”
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