"FDNY Chief Alleges Corruption: Accusations Against Adams Administration for Assisting Big Real Estate in Fire Inspection Favoritism Amid FBI Kickback Probe"
A former FDNY chief, Joseph Jardin, has thrown serious allegations at the Adams administration, claiming they aided prominent real estate developers in bypassing the regular queue for fire inspections. This revelation comes as the FBI intensifies its investigation into potential kickback schemes involving Turkish officials during Mayor Adams' tenure. Jardin, who headed the Bureau of Fire Prevention from 2019 to 2022, filed a lawsuit over the summer, asserting that he faced retaliation for exposing corruption within the inspection process.
Despite City Hall's post-pandemic initiatives to streamline bureaucracy, including a Deputy Mayor of Operations (DMO) list to expedite fire alarm inspections for local businesses, the lawsuit contends that the list was manipulated to favor influential developers rather than supporting small business owners. The suit alleges that the Real Estate Board of New York influenced the use of the DMO list to fast-track inspections for well-connected developers labeled as "friends" of City Hall.
The CITY was the first to bring attention to the existence of the DMO list, which Jardin claims was exploited for preferential treatment. In response to these allegations, Jardin, along with six other department chiefs, was demoted and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, and other city leaders. The lawsuit accuses the fire boss of pushing them into retirement after they protested against what they deemed as "corrupt" policies, including the misuse of the DMO list.
Joseph Jardin is not only entangled in a legal battle but is also part of an ongoing federal probe into Mayor Eric Adams' campaign fundraising. Sources reveal that Jardin, among three FDNY officials interviewed by federal authorities, disclosed that Adams allegedly pressured the FDNY to expedite a reinspection of a newly constructed building housing the Turkish consulate after it failed a prior fire safety inspection.
The Real Estate Board of New York, implicated in the allegations, vehemently denied influencing the creation of the so-called DMO list. REBNY spokesperson Sam Spokony clarified that the organization never requested such a list and acknowledged the common practice of seeking assistance from City agencies when members face delays in the inspection process. The situation sheds light on the complex intersection of politics, real estate, and public safety, raising concerns about potential improprieties within the administration.
"FBI Probes Adams: Allegations of Influence Peddling and Kickbacks Surround Mayor’s Approval of Turkish Consulate Building Plans"
The federal investigation into New York City Mayor Eric Adams has taken a compelling turn as authorities scrutinize whether Adams exploited his influence as borough president to expedite the approval of Turkish consulate building plans, allegedly disregarding fire hazard concerns in exchange for campaign contributions from Turkish officials. In a significant development, two of the mayor's cellphones and an iPad have been seized by investigators as part of the ongoing probe.
The FBI raid on the Brooklyn residence of Brianna Suggs, Adams' chief fundraiser, on November 2, marked a pivotal moment in the investigation. The raid, linked to a potential kickback scheme involving Adams' 2021 campaign, focused on connections to Brooklyn-based construction company KSK Construction Group and Turkish government officials. Adams, while downplaying the raid's significance, asserted to PIX11, "where there’s smoke, there’s not always fire."
Investigators are particularly interested in whether Adams utilized his influence as the then-Brooklyn borough president to facilitate the construction of the Turkish consulate, despite concerns about fire hazards. Campaign records reveal that Adams' campaign accepted a $6,000 donation from three donors associated with a foundation backed by Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Adams' campaign attorney, Boyd Johnson, emphasized the mayor's cooperation with federal investigators and acknowledged that an individual within the administration, identified as Rana Abbasova, had acted improperly and was subsequently placed on leave.
Addressing the media at City Hall, Adams defended his involvement in securing approval for the Turkish Consulate, stating, "This is what we do every day. When the constituency reaches out to us for assistance to another agency … you reach out to an agency and ask them to look into a matter." Despite Adams portraying his actions as routine, the investigation has brought to light serious allegations of potential improprieties, raising questions about the intersection of political influence, campaign financing, and the public trust.
In conclusion, the federal investigation into Mayor Eric Adams has thrust the New York City political landscape into a maelstrom of allegations, with authorities delving into whether Adams leveraged his influence as borough president to expedite Turkish consulate building plans in exchange for campaign contributions. The seizure of the mayor's electronic devices adds a layer of gravity to the probe, indicating the depth of scrutiny surrounding potential kickback schemes involving construction entities and Turkish officials.
The FBI raid on Brianna Suggs' residence, Adams' chief fundraiser, underscores the expansive nature of the investigation, with a focus on financial transactions and connections that may have influenced the mayor's decision-making. Adams, while downplaying the significance of the raid, faces increasing scrutiny as investigators explore whether his involvement in securing the Turkish consulate's approval disregarded crucial fire hazard concerns.
Campaign records revealing donations from individuals associated with Turkish President Erdogan's son and the subsequent placement of an Adams administration staffer on leave add complexity to the unfolding narrative. Adams' assertion that his actions were routine and aimed at assisting constituents further underscores the intricacies of the investigation.
As the investigation unfolds, it poses not only legal implications but also raises broader questions about the intersection of political influence, campaign financing, and the responsibilities entrusted to public officials. The outcome of this probe could significantly impact Adams' mayoral tenure and the public's trust in the city's leadership, emphasizing the importance of transparency and accountability in the realm of municipal governance.