Eric Adams, the former NYPD captain and president of the Borough of Brooklyn, answered questions about his residency status on Wednesday, allowing local reporters to tour his Central Brooklyn home.
“If I’m not at Borough Hall, I’m here,” Adams, a Democrat, told reporters inside his ground-floor, red-brick home. It was decorated with framed newspaper clippings, family photos, and other accoutrements of a lived-in residence. “Majority of my nights I sleep here.”
The tour came after a Politico New York report raised serious questions about Adams’ main residency, which is a requirement to be mayor of the city. Politico noted several addresses associated with Adams on official records, including the toured property, another residence in Brooklyn, and a co-op in New Jersey that he shares with his partner, Tracey Collins.
“How foolish would someone have to be to run to be the mayor of the City of New York and live in another municipality?” Adams asked reporters. Adams said he has used the New Jersey property occasionally but said the Brooklyn home is his main residence. Property records show that the home was purchased in 2003 and the mortgage was satisfied in 2018.
The intense scrutiny comes as a recent poll placed the Brooklyn Borough President No. 1 with 23 percent in the crowded Democratic field, which has eight candidates vying for nomination. In the heavily Democratic city, whoever wins the June 22 primary is likely to win the general election in November against the GOP nominee.
At No. 2, with 17 percent, is Maya Wiley, a civil rights attorney and former counsel to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who got a large boost after being endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, D-N.Y., whose district represents parts of the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx.
The remaining candidates — 2020 presidential contender Andrew Yang, a businessman, is in third place with 15 percent; former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia dropped down nine points since the last poll, to 12 percent. Former City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has faced and denied sexual assault allegations, is at 9 percent; Obama administration Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan is at 4 percent in the poll and businessman Raymond McGuire captured 3 percent of support from voters. Former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales is at 2 percent. The poll found that 12 percent of voters remain undecided.
The poll’s margin of error on choice of candidates was +/-3.6 percentage points.
Adams, who has criticized Yang, saying he left the city during the pandemic, was joined by his 25-year-old son, Jordan, during the tour. He said that his former job as an NYPD captain made him “secretive and quiet.” Adams then grew emotional, wiping aways tears discussing an incident in which his car was hit by gunfire when his son was a baby.
“And my opponents, who trail me, they know where I’ve been,” he said. “It’s not a mystery where I am.”
He added, “My secrecy is my family. I signed up for this life. They did not sign up for this life,” noting that the rented out units in his properties helped pay for his son’s college tuition.
But his opponents still pounced.
“You cannot simply have a cloud over the leadership of this city having to do with whether the rules of engagement have been followed,” McGuire told the New York Daily News. “Nobody gets a pass in this city. Nobody should get a pass.”
His other opponents also excoriated him and called on him to release more records, which he said he would do.
Garcia told the paper in a statement that he may be “misusing his political office at the taxpayers’ expense” by sleeping in his office. Wiley said the news was “straight-up bizarre,” the paper reported.