City Council Grows Opposition to Eric Adams' Legal Nominee"

NYC Legal Scene Stirred by Proposed Top Attorney Pick.

by Nouman Rasool
City Council Grows Opposition to Eric Adams' Legal Nominee"
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mayor Eric Adams is back on a city collision course, this time over his nomination to fill the city's most powerful legal position. Over the the weekend, sources speaking on background say City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams privately began expressing concerns over a choice the mayor might be considering for the city's top lawyer.

The mayor's office had no immediate comment about private discussions, and the news organization's attempts to get a statement from the council did not receive a response. This comes as scrutiny of the mayor's choices was only ratcheting up and the council, overwhelmingly Democratic and led by the mayor's former high school classmate, uses its power of confirmation.

Mastro's Controversial Nomination

Mastro is one of the heavyweights in New York's legal community, having represented former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, ex-Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and other high-profile clients and government officials.

A possible Mastro appointment has seen much opposition, especially by the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the council. The caucus issued a public statement condemning the choice, citing Mastro's past legal battles against the city and his representation of questionable clients as deeply concerning for someone nominated to serve as the city's chief lawyer.

The opposition isn't just coming from the caucus; members outside the Progressive Caucus have also voiced their concerns privately, noting the controversy surrounding Mastro could be compounded by ongoing federal investigations into allegations of corruption linked to Adams’ 2021 campaign.

Despite these allegations and the recent raids on three close associates' homes, Mayor Adams has not been directly implicated. As the controversy unfolds, Mayor Adams remains steadfast in his support for Mastro, emphasizing the importance of due process and the integrity of the legal confirmation process.

"We must allow the legal process to proceed without prejudice," Mayor Adams stated in a press conference. "Attacking a lawyer for the clients they represent sets a dangerous precedent. We stand committed to a thorough and fair confirmation process." This ongoing dispute highlights the complex dynamics between the mayor's office and a City Council that, while sharing party lines, frequently finds itself in opposition to the executive branch, challenging the administration's agenda and questioning its nominations at a time when public trust and legal integrity are paramount.