OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
3:36 PM – Sunday, November 12, 2023
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has spoken out about his role in the new Turkish consulate building project amid reports that he pressured the city to approve the building despite safety concerns.
Following his victory in the 2021 Democratic mayoral primary, Adams (D-N.Y.), who was Brooklyn’s borough president at the time, reportedly contacted Daniel Nigro, the then New York City fire commissioner.
Adams allegedly then urged Nigro to allow Turkish government officials to utilize the unopened building. The structure had faced delays as fire department officials had withheld approval due to safety concerns, according to sources cited by The New York Times.
OAN has not independently verified the Times report.
Adams said in a statement Sunday via campaign spokesperson Evan Thies that part of his role as Brooklyn borough president was to “notify government agencies of issues on behalf of constituents and constituencies.”
“I have not been accused of wrongdoing and I will continue to cooperate with investigators,” he said.
City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg echoed that statement on Sunday, saying that Adams and her team are cooperating with investigators.
“We hope that investigators will continue to cooperate with us and reprimand any federal officer who has improperly leaked details about this investigation,” Zornberg said, “as such conduct could prejudice the public and undermines the integrity of our law enforcement process.”
As part of an ongoing inquiry into campaign fundraising, FBI agents seized multiple electronic devices from Mayor Adams earlier this week. The mayor’s team asserted that it had voluntarily informed authorities about an individual involved in the federal investigation who had engaged in improper conduct.
During a recent news conference, Adams expressed skepticism, stating he would be “shocked” if investigators uncover any evidence of his campaign coordinating illegal activities.
Text exchanges between Adams, Daniel Nigro, and Turkish Consul General Reyhan Özgür from September 2021 hinted at the possibility that the mayor played a role in expediting the opening of the Turkish government’s new building, according to sources cited by the New York Post. However, these sources also noted that the texts did not appear to reveal any criminal activity.
In the text messages, Özgür reportedly asked Adams if he could help the building receive a “temporary certificate of occupancy” from the city’s fire department, according to the sources’ descriptions of the text messages, and Adams then asked Nigro to look into it, but didn’t instruct him to do anything in particular.
Adams reportedly more than $2 million for his re-election campaign in 2025. Adams, formerly a New York Police Department captain, had campaigned as a tough-on-crime Democrat who would increase the city’s police staffing and funding.
In July, charges were brought against six individuals in connection with an alleged plan to channel tens of thousands of dollars to Adams’ campaign through straw donors, individuals whose names were used to bypass individual donation limits. Two of the individuals pleaded guilty.
These allegations, filed in state court, did not directly implicate Adams, and his representatives have maintained that he was unaware of the purported scheme.
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