Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ transition team is delaying the appointment of former NYPD chief Philip Banks III as deputy mayor for public safety over his links to a corruption scandal involving cops and prostitutes, a said a source informed on this matter on Friday.
âThey are dragging their feet because they know this is a problem and they are trying to find a way to make it not a problem,â the source said.
A second source close to the situation has confirmed that Banks’ appointment has been postponed but has not linked it to his controversial past.
Banks was never charged but was named one of many uncharged co-conspirators in a bribery scheme orchestrated by two fundraisers for outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg.
The duo gave gifts to high-ranking cops including jewelry, vacations and prostitutes in return for official favors.
Adams, a former NYPD captain, asked Banks to advise him on law enforcement matters even before winning the election, The Post revealed in September, and also asked him to lead the research that led the selection of Keechant Sewell as the town’s next police commissioner. .
Adams has said on several occasions that he wants Banks to be part of his administration, and the former senior official worked in an office at One Police Plaza, sources said earlier this month.
Adams spokesman told The Post: âNo appointment has been delayed.
âAdams Transition has announced more than a dozen major appointments over the past two weeks and will continue to do a lot more next week,â said spokesman Evan Thies.
The banks declined to comment on the Post.
The postponement of Banks’ appointment as deputy mayor was first reported by The New York Times.
In 2014, Banks, then the NYPD’s department head, stunned the city when he abruptly declined a promotion to Senior Deputy Commissioner and retired, saying the new job would have taken him “away from work and police operations that I love so much. many.”
The Post later revealed that the move came as part of an FBI investigation into “an excessive amount of cash” he had amassed and a day after a federal judge approved a wiretap. on his cell phone.
Banks and other cops’ relationships with Rechnitz and Reichberg came under scrutiny as the federal government investigated whether businessmen distributed gifts and trips abroad in exchange for favors .
Former NYPD deputy chief Michael Harrington, who was Banks’ right-hand man, made a plea deal and avoided serving at any time. Former Assistant Inspector James Grant was acquitted of all charges.
Rechnitz entered into a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Reichberg was convicted at trial and sentenced to four years, but was released early last year on medical leave after contracting COVID-19 at Federal Correctional Facility in Otisville, upstate .
-Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy