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NYC Mayor Being Investigated by FBI — For Getting Free Flight Upgrades

Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2023 7/24/23 Mayor Eric Adams makes a public space-related announcement on July 24, 2023 in New York City. Mayor Adams announces a plan to remove unsightly construction sheds and scaffolding from NYC sidewalks.

Eric Adams is under investigation by the FBI for receiving free flight upgrades from Turkish Airlines that moved him to first-class seating.

Eric Adams

Credit: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) is under FBI investigation for receiving free flight upgrades from Turkish Airlines that moved him to first-class seating.

According to The New York Times, federal authorities looking into Adams’s mayoral campaign are now focusing on complimentary flight upgrades given to the Democratic politician, which allowed him to sit in the highest class of seats available for commercial airline passengers on international trips.

Adams, who has previously openly expressed his fondness for flying with the Turkish carrier, is currently facing a broad corruption inquiry by the FBI over his campaign’s relationship with the Turkish government. The investigation has led authorities to search the homes of a Turkish Airlines executive in New York and the mayor’s aides.

Back in November, the FBI seized the Mayor’s electronic devices and searched the homes of former Turkish Airlines executive Cenk Öcal, Adams’ top fundraiser Brianna Suggs, and Rana Abbasova.

Investigators are looking into whether Adams pressured the New York City Fire Department to approve the Turkish government’s high-rise consulate building in Manhattan despite safety concerns.

Per The Times:

Mr. Adams’s relationship with Turkish Airlines has extended beyond that of simply being a passenger. He has attended meetings and events with representatives of the air carrier, which is half-owned by the Turkish government’s sovereign wealth fund. Some of those interactions took place in the presence of Turkish business leaders and diplomats with their own close ties to Turkey’s government and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and F.B.I. agents conducting the inquiry have developed evidence that Mr. Öcal helped arrange at least some of the upgrades in coordination with Ms. Abbasova, two of the people familiar with the federal investigation said. They and others interviewed for this article spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing federal investigation.

Adams’ lawyer, Brendan McGuire, released a statement on Thursday denying any wrongdoing on the mayor’s behalf regarding the flight upgrades.

“As borough president, the mayor consistently disclosed his official travel to Turkey, did not receive any improper upgrades and did nothing inappropriate in exchange for an upgrade,” McGuire said. “Speculation is not evidence. We look forward to a just and timely conclusion to this investigation.”

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