Posted on: June 8, 2021, 02:24h.
Final up to date on: June 8, 2021, 02:24h.
Democratic New York Mayoral candidate Eric Adams provided “evasive and, at occasions, doubtful solutions” to investigators trying into doable ethics violations associated to the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens 11 years in the past.
That’s in keeping with transcripts of a deposition Adams gave in 2010 to attorneys working for then-New York Inspector Basic Joseph Fisch, obtained by The Metropolis this week.
Fisch was probing doable corruption within the bidding course of for a license to function slots on the Aqueduct, then often known as South Ozone Park.
He later launched a scathing report that confirmed Democrats had steered the profitable, 30-year gaming contract in the direction of the politically related Aqueduct Leisure Group (AEG).
Insider Information Leaked
Amongst AEG’s main buyers had been Nevada-based on line casino operator the Navegante Group and rapper Jay-Z. Former state consultant and influential Queens megachurch pastor Floyd Flake was additionally a shareholder.
Then-governor David Paterson signed the contract over to AEG two days after Flake threatened to drag his assist for Paterson in favor of Andrew Cuomo.
This was regardless of the AEG bid initially saying it could generate the least income for the state of all its rivals. AEG dramatically elevated these estimates after it was given the chance to take action.
The state inspector basic’s report discovered a “sample of the Senate disclosing inside Senate data to AEG all through the method, data which AEG might then use to its aggressive benefit.”
It additionally discovered the Democratic Senate marketing campaign committee had solicited donations from AEG, together with Adams, though he was by no means accused of any crime. The report was referred to federal prosecutors, however no fees had been ever introduced.
However as chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing and Wagering, Adams was closely concerned within the choice course of and had a whole lot of inquiries to reply.
Besides, when requested, he mentioned he couldn’t keep in mind the solutions, in keeping with The Metropolis.
The transcripts of the IG’s Workplace interview, obtained through a public information request, reveal he was notably sketchy concerning the occasions of his 49th birthday, on September 1, 2009. It additionally occurred to be a political fundraising occasion on the Grand Havana Room, an unique non-public membership on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
Representatives of AEG had been there to jot down checks for $11,500 for Adams’ re-election marketing campaign, and Adams thanked them publicly, in keeping with witnesses. This was simply weeks earlier than the Aqueduct contract was awarded to AEG.
Adams: ‘Republican Hitjob’
However regardless of at occasions displaying an acute reminiscence for particulars, Adams informed investigators lower than a yr later he couldn’t recall whether or not anybody from AEG had been current that night time or who had made donations to his trigger.
Based on The Metropolis, all through the interview, Adams “made statements contradicted by emails and different information the inspector basic collected as a part of his investigation.” The New York-focused information website goes into better element here.
Adams’ opponent within the 2021 New York Mayoral Race, Andrew Yang, has dredged up previous accusations of corruption, prompting a bad-tempered riposte from the Adams camp that dismissed the state inspector basic’s report as a Republican hitjob.
I created a walled-off course of and all the time held myself to the best moral requirements—and there’s zero proof my choices had been based mostly on something apart from what I believed was finest for New Yorkers,” Adams mentioned. “Actually, the method I created yielded millions-of-dollars a yr for our colleges and hundreds of jobs for our state.
“It’s absurd that I’m nonetheless responding to a political hit piece created to discredit me a decade after the unique false accusations had been made — and unsubstantiated,” Adams added.