Once again, Mayor Eric Adams has been hit with summonses for a rat infestation outside his Bed-Stuy brownstone, records show.
Adams received two $300 summonses after a visit on Dec. 7 from a city health department inspector who found “a rat burrow,” “fresh rat droppings” and an “active rat runway” along the mayor’s property line.
Adams beat a previous $300 violation in December, a day before the most recent health inspector visit, assuring the hearing officer he’d taken sufficient steps to try to combat rats at his property by spending $7,000 on various abatement measures. He’s due before a hearing officer on Jan. 12 to fight the latest fine, according to the city summons.
Adams vowed that he would fight the ticket.
“I am concerned that, despite previously spending nearly $7,000 on rat mitigation efforts, I received two new summonses on the same day, even though a neutral hearing officer found that I ‘demonstrate[d] sufficient steps taken … to prevent and control infestation at [my] property,” Adams said in a statement. “I will again challenge these violations and show that rats don’t run this city."
The mayor isn’t the only homeowner with this problem in his neighborhood — 11 properties on Adams' Bed-Stuy block also failed their most recent rat inspections, according to the city’s Rat Information Portal.
Rats have been a throughline of Adams’ political career for years, and he’s made combatting them a defining issue of his mayoralty, mentioning them at least 80 times in public appearances since mid-October, Gothamist reported.
In October, the city pushed back the hours people can leave trash outside ahead of collection the next day from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Adams later announced the hiring of a rat czar to oversee the city’s efforts.
But his tactics have been criticized by rodent experts who say attempting to defeat rats with poison and traps without removing their food source – heaps of trash left unattended overnight rather than in rat-proof containers — is futile. The city recently ordered a $4 million study to see if containers would work.
Following reports of the latest summons the mayor received, Curtis Sliwa, the animal-loving crime vigilante who ran against Adams in the 2021 general election, promised to rally outside Adams’ brownstone and offered to build him a feral cat colony to help manage his rat infestation.
"Feral cats are Mother Nature's way of eliminating rats, rodents and mice,” said Nancy Sliwa, who promised to join her husband Wednesday afternoon, in a statement.
Sliwa has offered to serve as rat czar for free.