By Kiely Westhoff, Celina Tebor and Emma Tucker, CNN
New York Mayor Eric Adams, a vocal rat opponent who made fighting rodents in the city a priority, got his fine dismissed after he was issued a health code violation for an infestation at his Brooklyn property, his spokesman told CNN Friday.
Adams was issued a summons dated May 10 for a health code violation stemming from a rodent infestation at the property in Bedford-Stuyvesant, noting the minimum penalty was a $300 fine, and the maximum penalty a $600 fine.
The hearing before the New York Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings was eventually scheduled for Tuesday, at which time the mayor attended the hearing, his spokesperson Fabien Levy confirmed in a statement to CNN. Online records from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearing indicate the mayor owed a balance of $330.
“Mayor Adams has made no secret of the fact that he hates rats — whether scurrying around on the streets or terrorizing building tenants. He spent thousands of dollars to remediate an infestation at his residence in Brooklyn earlier this year, and was happy to appear before OATH today to state as much,” Levy said.
The dismissal of his fine came after headlines splashed this week mocking the irony of the violation from the mayor who has repeatedly reiterated his personal vendetta against the vermin, most recently a “director of rodent mitigation” to rid the streets of its most notorious furry inhabitants.
When asked about the infestation at a press conference Thursday, Mayor Adams said he is “fixated on killing rats.”
“When I see one, I think about it all day,” said Adams. “So, on my block, whenever I go over to visit the brownstone, I see one scurrying down the block. It’s a problem,” adding that he spent thousands of dollars to exterminate them.
In an interview with NY1 on Wednesday, Adams said he spent $6,800 on rat mitigation at his property, adding he “did a good job.”
“And I want other New Yorkers, if you believe you were fined unfairly, utilize your right to go in front of a person to state, ‘Here’s my case. My receipts are clear,'” he said on NY1.
At an October news conference, Adams and Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch announced they were limiting the number of hours residential and commercial trash can sit on the curb before being picked up in hopes of addressing what they depicted as an “all-night, all-you-can-eat rat buffet.”
“The rats don’t run this city,” the commissioner said at the time. “We do.”
More recently, City Hall announced it was recruiting a new “director of rodent mitigation” to tackle the issue. The job listing indicates the city is looking for a so-called “rat czar” who is “highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty” with a “swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor, and general aura of badassery.”
The director would be the public face of the city’s fight against the rat population and report to the deputy mayor for operations, per the listing. The gig’s salary ranges from $120,000 to $170,000.
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