A local construction company could be implicated in a federal investigation into Mayor Eric Adams’s 2021 campaign finances.
Last Thursday, the New York Times reported that Adams’s campaign was under investigation as to whether his campaign “conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations.” The FBI raided the Crown Heights home of his chief fundraiser, as well as the Williamsburg office of KSK Construction Group.
The investigation will determine if KSK helped to funnel those illegal donations as part of a straw donor scheme and whether anyone at the company received any kickbacks from the campaign. A CNN review flagged that at least 11 KSK employees made donations on the same day, though several employees claimed they did not make those donations.
While the mayor is not yet directly implicated in the scheme, ethics issues have dogged Adams for years. His campaign faced criticism earlier this year for shoddy financial reporting (an investigation from THE CITY found that the campaign “repeatedly ignored city regulators’ requests to identify political supporters who they suspected of having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations without disclosing their role.”) Adams himself can frequently be found associating with some less than savory characters (his favorite haunt, Osteria La Baia, is run by a pair of twin brothers who pleaded guilty to financial crimes in 2014).
“The ethical clouds around the mayor have turned into thunderstorms,” local city council member Lincoln Restler told the New York Times.
Adams has denied any wrongdoing. “I am outraged and angry if anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign,” he said in a statement on Friday. “I want to be clear, I have no knowledge, direct or otherwise, of any improper fundraising activity — and certainly not of any foreign money.”