If Mayor Adams Is Forced by Latest Corruption Probe To Step Aside, Cheer Up — Things Could Get Much Worse

The official who would would succeed Mr. Adams is the public advocate, Jumaane Williams, an anti-cop Democratic socialist.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
The New York City public advocate, Jumaane Williams, on July 31, 2023. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The official who would become mayor were Adams ousted in the Disappointed that our mayor hasn’t made New York’s streets safer or cleaner, or stemmed the outflow of wealthy residents from our city? Tired of being a sanctuary city, inviting an unchecked influx of migrants to live in our hotels and shelters at taxpayers’ expense? 

Cheer up, my friends — things could get worse.

Mayor Adams is under investigation by the FBI for possible campaign finance violations and influence peddling. Last week, the G-Men swooped in on Hizzoner at a public event and commandeered Mr. Adams’ cell phones and iPad in connection with what the New York Post describes as a “corruption” investigation.

The probe made headlines several days earlier when agents raided the home of Mr. Adams’ chief campaign fund-raiser, looking for evidence of illegal contributions from the Turkish government and Turkish nationals.    

When news of the probe first broke, the mayor had been en route to a meeting with White House officials about the migrant crisis in New York City. The timing and the public nature of the FBI’s intervention were suspicious; many immediately wondered — including, in an important editorial, the New York Post — whether Mr. Adams was being punished for having criticized Joe Biden’s open border.

Upon receiving word of the raid, Mr. Adams landed in the Columbia District, ditched his agenda, and flew immediately home. He explained his hasty 180 as stemming from concern for his 25-year old fund-raiser, Brianna Suggs, who had experienced what he called a “traumatic experience.” Maybe, but it sure looked like the mayor knew he was in hot water.

What happens now is unclear. If charges are brought against Mr. Adams and he were required to step aside, he would be replaced not by the deputy mayor but by the Public Advocate, an obscure office-holder whose main purpose is to fill in for the mayor should his seat become open.

The Public Advocate post commands a $5 million annual budget which is viewed by many in these straightened times as superfluous.Two Democratic members of the City Council recently teamed up to pass legislation that would eliminate the office, which serves mainly as a launchpad for ambitious Democrats seeking higher office, like Mayor de Blasio and its current occupant, Jumaane Williams.

So far the office has survived and today the line of succession leads to Mr. Williams, the anti-cop Democratic socialist who is a big fan of Bernie Sanders and who describes himself on social media as an “Activist elected official fighting for justice & equity.”

We told you things could get worse. Mr. Williams was previously a member of the City Council. During his tenure, he helped pass more than 53 bills into law, including measures that banned Stop, Question, and Frisk, made it easier for New Yorkers to sue in state court if they are victims of “bias-based police profiling,” prohibits private and public employers from denying someone a job because he (or she) has a criminal record, and established an Inspector General post charged with overseeing the cops.

If you think our cops — and not the criminals — are the ones in handcuffs now, wait until Mr. Williams becomes mayor. Like Mr. Adams, Mr. Williams dismissed a recent Siena survey earlier this year showing 70 percent of New Yorkers don’t feel safe. Both blamed the growing unease among city residents on the press — rather than the criminals routinely released because of absurd bail laws, indulgent district attorneys, and a hobbled police force.

On X, Mr. Williams writes, channeling his best Vice President Harris impersonation: “sometimes folks are safe but don’t feel safe, and that can be just as dangerous in pushing policies that will harm people.” He also pushed earlier this year to remove the name “Citi” from Citi Field, because Citibank is “financing polluters and profiting from climate chaos.”

No wonder so many think the Public Advocate office is useless. Democrats like Mr. Williams may be behind the leading edge of this story. Rising crime, frustration with the surge in migrants, and surging budget deficits could temper even liberal New York’s appetite for left-wing activism.

In a survey from earlier this year, Mr. Adams clobbered Mr. Williams in a hypothetical Democratic primary match-up, looking forward to next year. As bad as Mr. Adams might be, most New Yorkers know there are worse candidates out there. Mr. Williams is one of them.

The New York Sun

© 2024 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material on this site is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used.

The New York Sun

Sign in or  create a free account

By continuing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use