Adams Defends His Pick for Top Lawyer Despite City Council Opposition

Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday said he intended to press forward with his expected nomination of Randy Mastro as New York City’s top lawyer despite mounting opposition from the City Council.

Mr. Adams and his top aides defended Mr. Mastro, a former aide to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani who is known for his aggressive tactics representing numerous big-name interests and clients, arguing that he had been the “conscience” of the Giuliani administration.

The mayor said it was unfair to attack Mr. Mastro for his clients, which include the former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, in the investigation of George Washington Bridge lane closings; the State of New Jersey in an ongoing lawsuit against the federal government over congestion pricing; and the energy company Chevron over pollution in the Ecuadorean rain forest.

The expected nomination of Mr. Mastro as New York’s corporation counsel — the lawyer who represents the city, its agencies and the mayor in civil litigation — comes at a time when the mayor and his top aides are facing a tangle of investigations and lawsuits ahead of his re-election campaign next year.

But Mr. Mastro, a former federal prosecutor, must be confirmed by a majority of the 51-member City Council. And earlier in the day, 34 members of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus released a statement noting their opposition to his appointment.

“We deserve better than someone who has fought for the interests of top-earners, abusive corporations, and vindictive politicians,” the group said in the statement, adding that the caucus was “firm in its opposition” and urging the Adams administration to reconsider.

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