One of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ top aides is embroiled in a scandal over allegations that she broke city ethics rules by giving a campaign volunteer a job in the mayoral administration in exchange for completing renovation work on her Bronx home.
The revelations were first reported by The City on Wednesday.
Winnie Greco – who is accused of asking the unnamed male tech worker to carry out a renovation for her – has been employed in Mr Adams’ administration since the beginning of 2022, making $100,000. She currently holds the role of Asian Affairs Liaison.
While on the campaign trail, she had no official role, wasn’t paid and had no hiring authority in the administration, the outlet reported, quoting a spokesperson for Mr Adams.
Still, the 33-year-old tech worker completed the renovation and subsequently got a job in the mayor’s office in 2022, where he was paid $62,000 as a program coordinator at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
The employee said that Ms Greco started requesting that he complete tasks at her home, including cleaning her kitchen and taking out debris during work hours.
She is accused of continually held the employee’s hiring over his head.
“I felt obligated to help her,” he told the outlet. “She said to me, ‘Do you know how much effort I made to get you hired,’” he told the outlet.
When he eventually stopped responding to her requests, he was fired, he claimed.
The aide has been accused of also getting a wealthy businessman to donate $10,000 to her charity in exchange for access to Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence, for a Chinese-focused event.
The money would reportedly go toward an ornamental Chinese-themed “Friendship Archway” in Sunset Park, located in Brooklyn. The monument was to be constructed alongside a Beijing borough government, the outlet reported.
The businessman said that at least five other people fielded similar requests from the aide.
Still, it’s unclear if the quid pro quo was a violation of campaign ethics.
In a statement to The City, a representative for Mr Adams said the aide Ms Greco “served the city and the Chinese community – representing city government at community events and working closely with community leaders and members to ensure their voices are heard in government,” the statement said.
“Throughout the time Mayor Adams has known Winnie, she has been a faithful public servant and advocate for her community. He is not aware of any inappropriate behavior whatsoever, and she strongly denies any allegations of illegal behavior. This matter is under review.
“Our administration will always follow the law, and we always expect all our employees to adhere to the strictest ethical guidelines.”
During Mr Adams’ second bid for the mayorship, Ms Greco helped raise thousands of dollars for his campaign, according to The City.
In one event, she reportedly raised nearly $22,000. In another instance, she brought in $40,000, which the outlet reported was largely from Chinese donors.
One of the highest sums the aide reportedly raised was over $200,000, generated from an event and matching funds.
Ms Greco remains employed by Mr Adams’ administration.