Frank Carone, Mayor Adams’ trusted friend and political confidant who has been his chief of staff since January, is resigning from his town hall position at the end of the year, according to three familiar with the case.
In another high-profile potential changeover, Lorraine Grillo, Adams’s first deputy mayor, is likely to step down from his position around the same time, two sources told the Daily News.
Grillo’s departure plan is such an open secret that administration officials are already preparing Sheena Wright, Deputy Mayor Adams, for strategic initiatives to take over, one source said, adding, “It’s not lost to anyone internally.”
Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Adams, confirmed Carone’s expected departure, but denied that Grillo was on the way. “She has no plans to leave at the end of the year, and anyone who talks that much is spreading false rumors,” he said.
Carone is expected to take a leading role in Adams’ reelection campaign in 2025 when he leaves City Hall, the sources say. It is unclear if Grillo might have another job in line.
Carone’s expected departure was first reported by the New York Times.
Carone, a Brooklyn Democrat political power broker, has been a loyal advisor to Adams for years. He was a key force behind Adams’s 2014 election as president of Brooklyn Borough, and also helped organize institutional support for his successful mayoral campaign last year.
As chief of staff, Carone was Adams’ right hand man in implementing policy in city government, from public safety and business commitment to housing and homelessness.
But it also aroused a lot of controversy.
As The News first reported in February, Carone was linked through a healthcare company to several convicted criminals and a group of doctors accused of insurance fraud.
The News and other media also discovered that Carone maintained an extensive network of controversial clients while working as a lawyer for high-ranking Brooklyn law firm Abrams Fensterman before joining the public service. His former clients include the CORE Services Group, a homeless shelter provider currently under a federal investigation into corruption allegations.
Ken Frydman, a veteran New York political strategist who served as spokesman for former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s, said it was not unusual for staff chiefs to “come and go.”
“But Carone’s business interests clearly contradicted his role in the government,” said Frydman. “You can’t have one foot in the private sector and the other in the public sector.”
This is a landmark story. Check for updates.
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