New York City’s Democrat Mayor Eric Adams has just been hit with yet another scandal after being accused of “extensive” failures in his migrant spending reporting.
NYC Comptroller Brad Lander has just revoked Adams’ emergency powers that the mayor invoked to tackle the migrant crisis.
The emergency powers allowed Adams to make taxpayer-funded deals with contractors for migrant services without prior approval, according to the New York Post.
Lander’s office granted special authorization to Adams in November 2022.
The move allowed the mayor to strike emergency deals, without the comptroller’s preapproval, to address the city’s escalating migrant crisis.
However, Lander’s office just announced in a letter that it would be stripping Adams’ administration of the emergency power.
The mayor is now required to first seek approval from the comptroller before spending tax dollars on migrants.
“Given the rapid expansion of the City’s efforts to shelter arriving asylum seekers, our Office is revising its prior approval,” the letter stated.
“The comptroller’s office citywide prior approval is hereby revoked,” the letter continued.
Since May, approximately $500 million in taxpayer funds has been used to provide various migrant services.
Those services include housing, food, and laundry, city contract records reviewed by the Post revealed.
According to Lander’s office, New York City spent $1.7 billion in emergency contracts to address the migrant crisis from January 2022 to September 2023.
The office concluded that a review of a $432 million emergency contract “uncovered concerning information & lack of experience in providing shelter & support services.”
The comptroller ultimately rejected the contract following several issues with the company.
“The review found significant delays in agencies submitting required outlines and contracts,” the comptroller’s office stated.
“In FY23, agencies filed emergency contracts on average 144 days (nearly five months) after the start of the contract term even though the City’s procurement rules require that agencies submit contracts to the Comptroller within thirty days.
“The Comptroller’s review also found that agencies likely failed to report the vast majority of subcontractors on these contracts, as required by procurement rules.”
A spokesperson for Lander’s office, Chloe Chik, issued a statement, saying:
“Our review found extensive failures to report subcontractors despite problems that surfaced with many of them and 80 percent have no performance reviews at all.”
“In response, we concluded that the most prudent course for the city’s fiscal health and integrity would be to require City Hall to seek prior approval before using emergency procurement on a case-by-case basis, as required by the City Charter, rather than blanket approval to use whenever they want,” Chik added.
Lander stated that agencies “should not defer reporting deadlines and must adhere to guidance around transparency, accountability, and greater cost efficiency when stewarding city dollars.”
“Otherwise, unscrupulous vendors could take advantage of the situation, supplies could go to waste, and the public could lose its trust in government to act responsively and responsibly in times of crisis,” Lander explained.
A City Hall source told the Post that the source believes the revocation of the emergency power will slow down urgently needed migrant services.
“Do you want it to take longer to get food to people?” the source told the outlet.
“I know everyone isn’t a fan of what we are doing, but if the alternative is to sit and wait in bureaucracy, then whatever.”
Charles Lutvak, a City Hall spokesperson, criticized Lander’s decision to revoke Adams’ emergency power.
Lutvak accused Lander of “tying our hands behind our back.”
He argues that the move is “unfair to both new arrivals and longtime New Yorkers and will unquestionably slow down every step in the process.”
Democrat City Councilman Justin Brannan, a supporter of Lander’s decision, told the Post:
“While managing and financing an international migrant crisis should have never been our responsibility alone, the administration has relied far too much on costly emergency contracts with for-profit companies that have milked taxpayers for millions.”
“While the migrant influx continues, it is no longer an unexpected situation and therefore no longer warrants emergency contracts without oversight,” Brannan contended.