Eric Adams Donors Schemed To Influence Mayor, Manhattan DA Alleges

New York City mayor Eric Adams and Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
July 7, 2023

Campaign donors to New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) plotted in 2020 and 2021 to provide Adams with illegal donations and receive perks from City Hall, according to indictments that Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg (D.) announced on Friday.

Bragg is prosecuting a group of defendants who allegedly came up with a "very organized" scheme to "circumvent campaign finance laws to deliver more money to the Adams campaign" than allowed by law, Politico reported. In an arrangement known as a straw-donor scheme, the defendants allegedly paid other people for donating to the Adams campaign.

The goal was "to use the illicitly obtained haul to seek favorable treatment from City Hall once Adams was elected," according to Politico.

An indictment over a straw-donor scheme brought down a top New York Democrat just last year. Former New York lieutenant governor Brian Benjamin resigned in April 2022 after he was arrested for taking straw donations. While a judge ultimately dismissed the most serious charges, Benjamin still faces two counts of falsifying records.

Although Bragg's office has not charged the mayor's campaign, Adams "appeared to be aware of" at least one of the schemers' fundraisers, Politico reported. Leading up to the fundraisers, one defendant allegedly "approached donors and shared information about getting around contribution limits by using the straw-donor scheme," Bragg's announcement says.

Adams is facing a tough week. The New York Times on Thursday reported that the mayor manipulated a Google printout of a murdered police officer so that he could claim he'd kept the photo in his wallet for decades.