Federal agents search home of fundraiser for New York City Mayor Eric Adams
Nov 2, 2023, 11:45 AM | Updated: 1:16 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal agents on Thursday raided the home of a top fundraiser and longtime confidante to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who abruptly ditched a planned White House meeting and flew home from Washington.
Agents searched the home of Brianna Suggs in Brooklyn, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official, who was not authorized to publicly disclose details of the investigation, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. The official declined to say whether Suggs was the target of an investigation.
Vito Pitta, an attorney for the Adams campaign, said the mayor was not contacted as part of the inquiry. “The campaign has always held itself to the highest standards,” he added. “The campaign will of course comply with any inquiries, as appropriate.”
Suggs, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, is a campaign consultant to Adams who raised money for his election effort and also lobbied his administration on behalf of corporate clients.
News of the raid came shortly after Adams announced that he was abruptly returning to New York City from a planned trip to Washington D.C. to “deal with a matter.”
A sit-down with senior White House staff and the mayors of Denver and Chicago proceeded without Adams in attendance. A spokesperson for City Hall declined to comment on the cancellations, deferring comment on the raid to the Adams campaign.
Suggs has worked closely with Adams since at least 2017, when he was Brooklyn Borough President.
She later joined his mayoral campaign, helping to raise more than $18.4 million for his primary and general elections, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Suggs has continued to solicit donations for Adams’ reelection bid, while simultaneously starting her own lobbying firm last year, records show. Her clients have included real estate interests with business before the city, including a Chinatown mall that was seeking a lease renewal.
Her dual efforts as fundraiser and lobbying have drawn scrutiny from good government groups, though she has denied wrongdoing.
A neighbor, Christopher Burwell, said he saw close to a dozen people in FBI windbreakers leaving Sugg’s apartment shortly after 9 a.m. The agents were carrying at least one box, he said.
A spokesperson for the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, Nicholas Biase, declined to comment.
Suggs is the latest Adams associate – and one of several people involved in his fundraising activity – to face legal trouble in recent months. In July, six people were charged in a straw donor conspiracy scheme to divert tens of thousands of dollars to Adams’ campaign. Those charges were filed in state court, and did not directly implicate the mayor.
The former city buildings commissioner under Adams, Eric Ulrich, was also charged in September with using his position to dole out favors, including access to the mayor, in exchange for cash and other bribes.
Ulrich and his six co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Balsamo reported from Washington D.C.