Eric Adams Picks Philip Banks as Deputy Mayor, Despite Ethics Concerns

Mr. Rechnitz paid for Mr. Banks’s travel expenses on two trips to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, including prostitutes for everyone on the trip, according to the evidence gathered in the case and the testimony and interviews of the Mr. Rechnitz’s FBI. Banks, who is married, flatly denies involvement with prostitutes, a representative said.

Rechnitz told authorities that he paid Banks to travel to Los Angeles, drive in a rented Porsche, get a foot massage, go from coach to first class on a flight to Israel and participate in tourist activities there. Like a helicopter ride Mr. Rechnitz also said that he gave Mr. Banks an unearned gain on an investment of $ 250,000; Banks wrote in his column that he made the investment because he thought Rechnitz was a legitimate businessman.

Federal prosecutors chose not to press charges against Banks because they concluded there was insufficient evidence to show that he had personally used his position to do business favors, two people familiar with the investigation previously told The New York Times.

As the boss, Mr. Banks helped the men in some way. He gave Mr. Rechnitz a department “gold card”, intended for officers’ relatives, to use if he ever got in trouble with the police, according to Mr. Rechnitz, who also testified that Banks a once allowed him to put a bag of diamonds in the safe in his office at Police Headquarters.

Mr. Banks also stepped in when Mr. Rechnitz and Mr. Reichberg sought a promotion for James Grant, a former deputy inspector to whom they awarded gifts and who granted them favors.

Mr. Banks allowed the men to call Mr. Grant, who was later acquitted of the bribery charges after being tried along with Mr. Reichberg, from the Grand Havana Room, a Manhattan cigar bar, to inform him about his promotion, Mr. Rechnitz testified. .

Then the boss himself got on the phone, Mr. Rechnitz testified, recalling what Mr. Banks had told Mr. Grant.

“I promoted him to stop pestering me and asking me to promote him,” Banks said.

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