May 21, 2024
Adams ally Jesse Hamilton nets unusual $24K raise after less than four months at NYC agency

Adams ally Jesse Hamilton nets unusual $24K raise after less than four months at NYC agency

After working at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for less than four months, former Brooklyn state Sen. Jesse Hamilton secured an unusual promotion late last year that came with a hefty salary bump — the latest instance of a political ally of Mayor Adams getting a big leg up in the municipal ranks, public records show.

Hamilton, who replaced Adams in 2015 as senator for Brooklyn’s 20th District after Adams became borough president, was first hired as a counsel for the administrative services agency this past Aug. 28 with a $190,000 salary.

The appointment created some patronage concerns at the time, as Hamilton, a moderate Democrat, is considered an Adams protégé, having worked in his Senate office before being elected to take his seat in the chamber.

Eric Adams, left, and Jesse Hamilton, right, are pictured in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on March 4, 2016.

In a previously unknown wrinkle, Hamilton ascended further up the chain of command at Administrative Services on Dec. 18 — just 112 days into his tenure — when he was promoted to become its deputy commissioner of real estate services, an entry in the City Record shows. With the promotion came a $23,783 raise, or 12.5%, putting Hamilton’s new yearly salary at $213,783, the records show.

Adams spokesman Jonah Allon told the Daily News on Friday that Hamilton got the promotion “strictly because he was the most qualified candidate” for the job.

“Jesse Hamilton is a dedicated public servant with a strong track record of serving his community and the people of this city,” Allon said. “We are fortunate to have him serving our city and look forward to working with him to strengthen DCAS’ mission and ensure it continues to serve all New Yorkers fairly and equitably.”

Administrative Services’ main responsibilities include recruiting, hiring and training new municipal employees as well as acquiring, selling and leasing city-owned property.

In his new role, Hamilton helps oversee the city government’s sprawling real estate portfolio. Hamilton’s previous municipal government experience is limited to working in the Department of Finance’s Assessor’s Office before his 2014 state Senate election, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A former Administrative Services employee, who recently left the agency after nearly a decade, said she didn’t get a raise for years while working there. Speaking on condition of anonymity because she’s not permitted by her new employer to talk with the press, she also said she couldn’t recall anyone getting bumped to the deputy commissioner level after such a relatively short stint as Hamilton’s.

A second city government official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, concurred.

“This is like hiring Jesse as a nurse, then in a few months promoting him to chief of cardiology,” the official said.

Eric Adams, right, and Jesse Hamilton, left, are pictured in Brooklyn in 2015.

While in the Senate, Hamilton was a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group of centrist Democrats who forged a power-sharing agreement with Republicans that allowed the GOP to hold a majority of the chamber until 2018. Diane Savino, another former IDC state senator, joined Adams’ administration as a senior adviser earlier this year.

It’s not unusual for mayors to hire some political supporters, especially for jobs that involve advising the mayor directly.

Still, Adams has stoked controversy over his habit of tapping friends and allies, especially from Brooklyn political circles, for a range of positions across city government.

Beyond Hamilton, Adams tried hiring his younger brother, Bernard Adams, for a six-figure salaried job as his security detail coordinator last year, but the city Conflicts of Interest Board made him knock down the pay to $1 because of city laws against nepotism.

Another Adams appointee, Edu Hermelyn, the husband of Adams-allied Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn, resigned from a $190,000 post at the Department of Social Services after it became clear he was barred by law from serving in that role while simultaneously holding a position in his wife’s party.

Meantime, Tim Pearson, an Adams pal who served alongside him in the NYPD, stepped down from a casino executive job this past August after it emerged that the mayor had quietly appointed him months earlier to a post at the city Economic Development Corporation that raised ethics concerns.

And a few months before that, Lisa White, an Adams friend who used to rent him a room in Brooklyn, got a top NYPD job with a $241,000 wage, amounting to a nearly five-fold salary increase as compared to her previous post in the department.

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