Philip Banks, unindicted co-conspirator in bribery scandal, named deputy mayor
JAN 7, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LINY : JAN 7, 2022
Mayor Eric Adams has named former NYPD chief Philip Banks — an unindicted co-conspirator in a sweeping federal police corruption case — the deputy mayor of public safety, City Hall officials confirmed Friday.
Banks, who’s long been rumored to be appointed to the reinstituted post by Adams, will return to public office nearly eight years after abruptly resigning from the top uniformed spot in the department amid the federal probe into the NYPD.
The post, last held by Milton Mollen in 1992, is tasked with overseeing the NYPD and other public safety matters.
At the time, Banks had said his rift with then-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton over his promotion to first deputy commissioner, the second in command, spurred his resignation.
It was later revealed the rising star’s surprise move came as the feds probed “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in Banks’ account as part of the investigation into Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who bribed cops with hookers and jewelry.
A New York fed court would not recuse itself in a suit against a fmr @WilmerHale doc reviewer that accuses him of leaking sensitive law firm information, despite his argument that U.S. District Judge Lewis J. Liman should be disqualified because of his previous employment there.
— LawsInTexas (@lawsintexasusa) January 7, 2022
Banks was never charged in the case but later named by the feds as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Rechnitz and Reichberg were both convicted of bribery and corruption and sentenced to 48 months in prison.
Banks, as well as Adams, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and pointed to the fact that the feds never brought criminal charges as proof of his innocence.
Jeremy Reichberg (left) and Jona Rechnitz were convicted of bribing NYPD officers with jewelry and prostitutes.
The announcement Friday came in an op-ed column penned by Banks in which he apologized for his connection to the men while slapping down the previous allegations against him.
Hours later, the mayor’s office made it official.
“I need a partner in government who understands what it takes to keep New Yorkers safe. Phil Banks is that person,” Adams said in a statement.
Banks thanked the mayor and lauded Adams for “restoring this position in his administration speaks volumes about how dedicated he is to tackling the real public safety crisis on our streets.”
City Hall officials said Banks “will be tasked with coordinating all agencies on public safety matters to ensure they align with the Mayor’s vision” but did not go into detail as to the his daily responsibilities.
Banks’ checkered past allegedly led to Adams advisers pushing back on naming him to the spot, delaying the appointment.
Banks, whose brother David Banks is the new New York City schools chancellor, has been advising Adams on NYPD issues for months and played a key role in the search for the police commissioner.
His then-expected role in the Adams administration led to the leading candidate, Carmen Best, voicing concerns over reporting to Banks and not the mayor.
Mayor Eric Adams
Banks has been advising Mayor Adams for months, and members of the NYPD are concerned over his influence.
In an op-ed, Philip Banks (right) apologized for his connection to Reichberg (left) and Rechnitz (center), but maintained his innocence.
Sources with knowledge of the hiring process told The Post newly appointed Keechant Sewell had been Banks’ favorite for top cop.
Banks had set up shop in One Police Plaza after Adams was elected, meeting with police and other public safety officials as part of the transition, sources said.
Police sources have voiced concerns that Banks, who was once expected to take over as the city’s top cop before resigning, would act as a “shadow police commissioner” from City Hall.
They later pointed to Edward Caban, who has close ties to Banks, being elevated from an inspector to the second in command as an example of his influence.