So is Eric Adams’s ‘Asst. Parking Director’ Brother Qualified to Head Mayoral Security?

Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

From parking cars to protecting the second-most-important public official in the United States?

Mayor Adams is under fire for naming his brother, Bernard Adams, to a $240,000 position as an NYPD deputy commissioner [update below] in charge of mayoral security — and a review of the younger sibling’s responsibilities in his former job as assistant director of parking for Virginia Commonwealth University’s suggest that criticism of the mayor is justified.

The younger Adams has worked at the Richmond institution since 2008, most recently as the assistant director of parking for the University’s MCV Campus, a smaller center to the east of the school’s main campus in the Monroe Park section of the former Confederate capital.

In his latest role, Adams’s job was “to improve communication and satisfaction among the MCV community by proactively identifying and resolving issues related to both parking and transportation on the MCV campus,” according to the job listing seeking to find his replacement for the $72,000-$80,000-a-year position. (The listing was provided to Streetsblog by VCU.)

What does it take to be an assistant director of parking for a secondary campus at Virginia’s fifth-largest college? Given that parking is practically a national obsession in this country, the job obviously takes mettle.

Bernard Adams. Photo: Facebook
Bernard Adams. Photo: Facebook

“The assistant director will have the operational oversight of enforcement operations and maintenance on the MCV campus and will develop strong relationships with leadership from VCU Health System as well as VCU leadership on the MCV campus. The position will function as a primary point of contact for leadership with the ability to take action within parking and transportation operations, P&T leadership, and address policy and procedure issues; and will also oversee external parking for VCUHS and function as the Uber/Lyft/Roundtrip program coordinator for VCUHS.”

That’s no small job! And wait, there’s more. “Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee the enforcement operation and Operations Center on the MCV campus and coordinate with the assistant director for Monroe Park Campus Parking
  • Plan, implement, and oversee parking lot/deck maintenance on the MCV campus; prepares detailed proposals for PTS leadership
  • Researches and implements technology solutions for the MCV campus
  • Collaborates with counterparts at other education institutions, businesses, and government to promote efficiency and information exchanges
  • Assign VCUHS employee parking assignments as they begin orientation
  • Attend and present at VCUHS orientation regarding parking and transportation
  • Oversee the implementation of best parking practices, review challenges for VCUHS parking, transportation, and customer service
  • Continually work to enhance customer satisfaction
  • Regularly works, meets, and communicates with VCUHS leadership to proactively solve parking and transportation issues
  • Develops internal communication to highlight and promote parking and transportation and alternate transportation initiatives to MCV leadership departments
  • Responds to customer inquiries in a timely manner with professionalism and transparency.”

Above all, the listing says, Bernard Adams had years of experience in a “complex, high-demand parking and transportation operation” and had “knowledge of parking and transportation operations and facility maintenance.” And the job listing states explicitly that being able to deal with a “fast pace” environment was “essential.”

Indeed, in 2014, VCU honored Bernard Adams with a customer service award, so this is a guy who knows how to make people feel good about parking.

In addition to his final VCU job as “assistant director” of MCV Parking (July, 2020-Nov. 2021), Bernard Adams had the following jobs at VCU, all in the “Parking and Transportation” department, according to the university:

  • Enforcement and safety officer (May 2, 2008-Sept. 10, 2009).
  • Deck supervisor (Sept. 10, 2009-April 10, 2014).
  • Senior operations manager (April 10, 2014-July 25, 2016).
  • Parking operations assistant manager (July 25, 2016-July 10, 2020)

No wonder Mayor Adams is adamant that his brother is the perfect person for the job of heading mayoral security.

“Let me be clear on this: My brother is qualified for the position,” Adams said on CNN on Sunday. “Number one, he will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me at a time when we see an increase in White supremacy and hate crimes.”

Later that day, the mayor continued to defend the appointment, which will require the sign-off from the city Conflict of Interests Board.

“Protection is personal,” Hizzoner said. “You have an increase of anarchists in this city, country. We have a serious problem with white supremacy. And when you talk about this type of security that I want, it’s extremely unique. I don’t want to be away from my public. I trust my brother. My brother understands me. And if I have to put my life in someone’s hands, I want to put it in the hands of a person that I trust deeply, because that is a very personal process of your security.”

And the parking expertise is apparently an added benefit.

One downside to having Bernard Adams serving as Mayor Adams’s security oversight? At Virginia Commonwealth, the assistant director of parking is strictly an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job, with work on “some weekends, early mornings, and late evenings.”

Does Mayor Adams know that, compared to him, his brother’s former job was basically part-time?

VCU declined to comment for this story. City Hall did not respond to an email seeking comment. But on Wednesday, there was an update in The NY Times and the NY Post that Bernard Adams would not be a full NYPD Deputy Commissioner:

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