New York mayor Eric Adams defends hiring his own brother for top police role

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New York mayor Eric Adams has defended his decision to hire his brother as a deputy police commissioner, saying he needs someone he can “trust” in the role.

Bernard Adams’s duties will include responsibility for his brother’s security as well as overseeing governmental affairs.

The decision to appoint him to the post, which pays around $240,000 (£177,000) a year, has been questioned by critics.

“My brother has a community affairs background, the balance that I need,” Mr Adams said on CNN.

“He understands law enforcement. He was a 20-year retired veteran from the police department, and I need someone that I trust around me. I’m doing this for my security, and I trust my brother deeply.”

Security had to be a major priority given the rise in white supremacist groups, said Mr Adams, who is African-American.

He raised eyebrows on his first day in office when he took the subway to City Hall – even phoning in an assault to the police – on his way to work.

His predecessor Bill DeBlasio was heavily criticised for his extensive use of a security detail.

Mr Adams said that his decision to use the subway was part of his campaign to be more accessible to the people who elected him.

“I don’t want the people of this city to believe that the mayor is not approachable and he’s not willing to engage with them on the level that I want to represent.”

Susan Lerner, the executive director of government watchdog Common Cause New York, told media: “New Yorkers expect that public servants are hired based on their unique qualifications and not because they are the mayor’s brother.”

The appointment will be subject to confirmation by the city’s Conflict of Interest Board.

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