New York Daily News: By Chris Sommerfeldt & Michael Gartland – Mayor Adams was nowhere to be found Friday as a winter storm bore down on New York City and a house fire claimed the lives of two small children on Staten Island.
High-ranking officials in his administration said the mayor took two days off starting Thursday and that he’d return to work Saturday.
They refused to divulge where he was.
“I certainly do know where he is,” Lorraine Grillo, Adams’ first deputy mayor, said to reporters. “Let me just say this to you — he might as well be here, because we’ve been speaking constantly throughout the day.
“The mayor decided to take two days off and get some rest,” she added, noting that Adams wasn’t in the five boroughs, but declining to say where he was.
It didn’t take long for Adams, whose reputation includes a love for the city’s nightlife, to catch heat for the move. One former city official slammed the mayor, accusing him of “gallivanting” in the city’s time of need.
“You’d think a mayor who spends so much time at clubs wouldn’t need to go gallivanting on vacation as New Yorkers freeze and die,” said Bill Neidhardt, who was a press secretary under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Adams needs to make a New Year’s resolution to take this job seriously.”
An Adams administration official said it’s “strange” for City Hall to refuse to divulge the mayor’s whereabouts — and floated a theory for the dodgy response.
“They’re probably not saying where he is because they don’t want anyone to know who he’s with,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation.
Adams’ absence came as the city battened down the hatches during a frigid winter storm that, as of Friday afternoon, had flooded homes in the Rockaways.
Also on Friday, a house fire on Staten Island killed two small children and injured four others, with two of them in serious condition, according to city officials.
While the mayor’s physical presence wasn’t felt on Friday, he was tweeting about the city’s predicament.
“New York City will endure winter weather today with strong winds and dangerously low temperatures tonight. @NYCEmergencyMgt has activated a cross-agency response to protect vulnerable populations, remove debris from roadways and keep our city safe,” he tweeted at 3:48 p.m. “Follow @notifynyc for updates.”