New York Daily News: BROOKLYN – Mayor Adams is no longer on the hook for a $330 ticket for a rodent infestation at his Brooklyn home, a review of city records shows.
As the Daily News first reported last Friday, Adams, who has made killing rats his mission, failed to pay the ticket for months after being cited in May for “active rat signs” and “fresh rat droppings” at his Lafayette Ave. property.
This fall, Adams tapped Rahul Agarwal, a City Hall lawyer, to act on his behalf in two separate official proceedings as part of challenging the summons, records show.
The reliance on Agarwal raised ethical concerns, as local conflict of interest rules bar city officials from using government resources and personnel for “non-city purposes.”
Ultimately, though, Agarwal helped ensure Adams didn’t have to pay the ticket, as an administrative judge dismissed it this week after a hearing, records show.
A spokesman for Adams said Thursday that his office consulted with the city Conflicts of Interest Board about Agarwal’s involvement, but declined to divulge any opinion the board may have offered on the matter. The board declined to comment, citing confidentiality protocols.
In an unrelated press conference earlier Thursday, the mayor didn’t mention his victory of getting the fine dismissed in administrative court, but instead reveled in his hatred and fear of vermin.
“I’m not sure where you live at, but trust me, there are rats,” he said. “Rats are everywhere. I hate rats. I’m scared of them, and when I see one, I think about it all day, so I am fixated on killing rats.”
Adams jokingly offered the $170,000 a year rat czar post to any City Hall reporter who doesn’t have a healthy fear of rats.
“If you are not scared of rats, then you are really, you are my hero — then you can be the rat czar,” he said.
Adams announced the new rat czar gig last week. The formal title is Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation.
To illustrate his fear of rats, Adams noted that he spent $7,000 to rid his Bedford Stuyvesant home of the flea-bitten buggers.
“I went up and down the block. I helped other places,” he said when asked what the seven grand got him. “Some tenants were not cooperating.”
Top Feature Photo: Then Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams points at a chart as he announces the results of a pilot program aimed at curbing the rat population around Brooklyn Borough Hall on Sept 5, 2019 – ANGELA WEISS/Getty