Eric Adams’ honeymoon never really started.
After being in office for only two weeks, Mayor Adams faces multiple crises, some beyond his control and some of his making, from a deadly fire in the Bronx to keeping schools going as the COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing.
The mayor has also been busy defending a controversial decision to hire his brother to be in charge of his security department.
“I’m going to hire the best people for the job, which I’ve known throughout my years in government, and the reason I can do this is because I’m the mayor,” Adams told the journalists at an independent press conference in Reines on Friday.
Adams also suggested he face additional scrutiny for his hiring decisions, insisting that other mayors before him have not received the same level of criticism.
“Other mayors have hired their associate lawyers, hired people they’ve known in school since they came up, how was there nothing to say about that?” said Adams. “But I have the audacity to hire blue-collar people, regular people who are union members or retirees, and it’s like, ‘Who do you think you are?'”
Despite the mayor’s assertion, mayors before him have faced scrutiny over their hiring decisions, who they chose as councilors and who was brought into City Hall’s inner circle .
However, the mayor is suspicious.
“I’m not going to allow people to dismantle my ability to build the right team, whoever it is at the time,” Adams said.
Adams’ hiring decision is under review by the Conflict of Interest Board.
The week began the day after a devastating fire in the Bronx killed 17 people, including nine children. The mayor responded in part by reminding New Yorkers to close the door in the event of a fire. An investigation is still ongoing but some have criticized the mayor for not paying more attention to the owner. One of the owners of the building is part of Adams’ transition team.
“It’s about informing, because any day we can have another fire, and for me to play a part in saying, the best thing we can do, as I learned as a kid , is to close the door, and we need to amplify that message,” he said.
He stopped at the historic Steinway and Sons piano factory in Astoria on Friday, as part of his effort to encourage workers to return to the office.
But as he tries to encourage recovery, the city is still grappling with rising COVID-19 cases, many offices have actually not reopened, and the cold winter continues to cast a pall over the city. new Year.
While Adams tried to project optimism, he was also forced to change course. Despite a push to keep schools open, Adams has been forced to offer support for creating a remote option for schools, where attendance remains low and COVID-19 cases are high.