The otherwise routine disclosure exposed another inaccuracy in the mayor’s personal handling.
When questions arose about Adams’ real estate portfolio during the Democratic primary last year, campaign adviser Evan Thies told POLITICO that Adams ceded his interest in the unit to the other owner and no longer had a stake in the property.
He said the campaign would amend documents referring to the Prospect Place address to clarify that he no longer has it. Last June, Thies also said Adams — whose residence became a focal point in the final weeks of the primary — hadn’t lived in the co-op for about 10 years.
That same month, Adams himself told THE CITY that the woman with whom he owned the apartment should have alerted the board of directors of the assignment.
Not only did Adams recently disclose ownership in the Disputes Commission’s most recent disclosure, but he amended five old forms to register partial ownership of the property. The forms covering the years 2016 to 2020 that POLITICO obtained in the 2021 election do not include the address. However, the same forms on the council’s website on Wednesday do – and the disputes council has confirmed that they have been updated.
The history of Adams’ nebulous place begins at the Prospect Place Co-op, which the mayor bought about three decades ago with his then-partner Sylvia Cowan.
Throughout the campaign, Adams’ team has maintained that he turned over ownership of the unit to the former girlfriend years ago without demanding any payment from her. And the appearance of Prospect Place’s address on election materials as recently as last year were all clerical errors, according to Thies.
On Wednesday, the mayor’s spokesman, Fabien Levy, said that although Adams transferred ownership of the property to Cowan in 2007, she has not filed a new deed for the unit.
“The mayor hasn’t lived, earned income or controlled property in over a decade,” Levy said.
The mayor found he still owned the property last year when Adams replaced his longtime accountant Clarence Harley, who was blamed for several mishaps during the campaign.
“Once he had a new accountant, the mayor realized that all the proper paperwork had not been completed in the past and a new deed had not been filed by the other owner. “, said Levy. “This process is now underway and that is why the mayor has proactively and personally called [the conflicts board] before taking office and asked what changes needed to be made to previous documents.
After a brief stint in a rental, Adams moved into a Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone in 2017 that he owned.
A year earlier, he had purchased an apartment in Fort Lee, NJ, with his current partner, Tracey Collins, in the same building where public records show Cowan now lives.
During the campaign, Adams said he stopped visiting Collins in New Jersey after moving into his Brooklyn Borough Hall office in March 2020 to help with pandemic recovery in his capacity as borough president. He went so far as to plant a mattress near his wooden desk and set up kitchen utensils, including a blender for his trademark smoothies, in the stately municipal building.
Yet a year later, POLITICO discovered through eyewitness accounts and information from rival campaigns that Adams was still staying in his government office, often coming and going late at night and early in the morning.
“I entered the town hall at 1 a.m., I worked until 3 or 4 a.m. with my employees who come because they believe, then I got up at 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m. to go to the station,” said Adams said last. June, speaking to the press after POLITICO first reported on her living situation. “It’s no mystery where I am.”
He attributed his escape to a desire to protect his family, especially given his history as an outspoken NYPD captain.
“My secret is my family,” he said. “I signed up for this life. They did not sign up for this life.
He then invited reporters to inspect the trappings of his dark, cramped basement apartment at Brownstone Bed-Stuy. He was joined by his adult son Jordan, who said he regularly stayed on another floor of the house and sometimes crashed on his father’s sofa.
But even after the screening, property questions continued.
Last year, Adams had to change his tax returns after failing to disclose rental income to the Internal Revenue Service. The amended forms, however, contained another error that the campaign pledged to rectify: They showed that Adams had not spent time on the property in the previous year.
At the time, a spokesperson attributed the two errors to the accountant, Harley, who the mayor said had fallen on hard times and was living in a homeless shelter. A report in THE CITY revealed that Harley was fired from his previous job on embezzlement charges, and POLITICO discovered that Harley was not registered in state or federal tax preparer databases. — and didn’t work from the Midtown address he listed on the tax official. forms.
Adams has yet to release the second version of the amended tax forms or his 2021 returns.
The Bed-Stuy address is also the subject of two unresolved complaints alleging illegal construction on the property. After the complaints were filed in July and October, the city’s building department said Adams called to schedule an inspection. That inspection has yet to take place, according to the database maintained by the agency, which Adams now controls.
Since becoming mayor — which entitles him to free digs at the legendary Gracie Mansion flanking Manhattan’s East River — Adams has been spotted around town with one of his closest friends, Zhan.” Johnny” Petrosyants, a restaurant owner who pleaded guilty in a federal case. money laundering case in 2014. The two hit upscale restaurants and clubs, and Adams is known to stay in the Trump Tower apartment in Petrosyants.
Adams also traveled the world before taking office, vacationing in Monaco in the summer and visiting Ghana on an ancestral trip in December. He also flew to a political conference in Puerto Rico aboard cryptocurrency billionaire Brock Pierce’s private jet — a gift that would normally be disclosed to the Conflicts Board. Adams said he paid the tech-savvy Pierce through an old-school travel agent, though he never provided a receipt.