Brooklyn state Senator Eric Adams convened a conference call with the eight district leaders in his Senate district today to explain his role in the scandal around the bidding for the Aqueduct race track.
According to sources in on the call, Adams said that the report was inaccurate and misleading, and said that he had not been able to get his side of the story out on the advice of his attorney.
Adams, along with his ally John Sampson, the Senate Majority Leader, was slammed in the Inspector General’s report on bidding process, who said that Sampson, Adams, and Senate President Malcolm Smith “abdicated their public duty, failed to impose ethical restraints and focused on political gain at a cost of millions to New Yorkers.”
It is fairly unusual for an elected official to convene all of his district leaders over conference call to explain himself, but according to one source, “There is a lot of anger in the political community in Brooklyn at Senators Adams and Sampson actions in the Aqueduct deal that has now apparently lead to the loss of the Democratic majority in the State Senate. Many people question how someone with such a bright political future as Adams could get himself involved with the previous holder of his State Senate seat unsavory political lobbyist and former right hand man to disgraced County Leader Clarence Norman, Carl Andrews.”
Adams is widely thought to be positioning himself for a future run, either for Brooklyn borough president or mayor, and the Aqueduct scandal could be an albatross around his neck, as it was for state Senate Democrats this cycle.
Or, another theory goes that Adams is worried more about anger from his base in the neighborhood, as several district leaders there, including newly-elected Chris Owens, are thought to want that seat.
Sen. Adams did not return phone calls for comment.
We spoke with Senator Adams a little while ago and he said he wanted to update his district leaders after news about Sen. Craig Johnson’s Senate seate–which appears destined to fall into Republican hands–and to explain the three times he was mentioned in the IG’s Aqueduct report. And Adams does not seem prepared to let the IG’s report fall into the dustbin of history. He is sending out a letter to his constituents about the matter shortly.