It is said that you cannot win a battle against City Hall. But suppose that you are the City Hall.
The answer, in Mayor Eric Adams view, is not an academic exercise. Contesting a summons is a dreaded part of living in New York City and on Tuesday he found himself in a simulated courtroom going through the motions necessary to do so.
The fact that the summons was for the presence of rats at one of his properties in Brooklyn only served to make the issue easier to connect to and empathise with.
Therefore, Mr. Adams dialled into a city administrative court shortly after hosting a news conference to introduce his new first deputy mayor and chief of staff. He did this to contest the decision of a city health inspector to fine him $300 for allowing rodents to overrun a property that he owns in Brooklyn. The property in question is located in Brooklyn.
He started by telling the hearing officer, who was technically an employee of the city and thus of Mayor Adams, that he was something of an expert about fighting rats, and he gave a brief description of his efforts as mayor to fight the rat horde. He continued by saying that he was somewhat of an expert about fighting rats, and he said that he was something of an expert about fighting rats.
And as a landlord, he claimed that he spent close to $7,000 in March combating rats at the property, which is located on Lafayette Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He promised to submit an invoice as proof of his claims. He said that he had even used the notorious “Rat Trap” that he had previously shown while serving as the borough president of Brooklyn. The “Rat Trap” was a gruesome presentation that required removing rats that had been drowned from a vat.
Last but not least, as a member of the community, he made the observation that the regulations of the city were “created to punish homeowners for failing to take actions to prevent and manage rats.”
The hearing officer said that he would take the evidence into consideration and issue a verdict within a month’s time.
However, Mr. Adams’ run-ins with the Rattus norvegicus predate his election to the office of mayor. During his campaign for mayor, he revealed to The New York Post that, when he was a youngster, his family’s house was so infested with rats that he and his siblings made the decision to keep a rat as a pet.
Even further, Mr. Adams served as a transit police officer, a type of cop that was once referred to in a slang term as “tunnel rats.” And then there was the public presentation of the new rat-killing device that he claimed to have subsequently implemented at his own residence.
Now, in his first year as mayor, Mr. Adams has made the elimination of rats and other rodents a primary focus of his legislative agenda. Someone with the “stamina and stagecraft” to kill a large number of rats will be hired for the newly created position of “director of rodent mitigation,” which he announced would be created last week. This position will be based at City Hall. The job posting stated that the successful candidate will have to be able to kill a lot of rats.
On the other hand, his worries about rats were more localised on Tuesday. At 15:03 on the 10th of May, a health inspector served Mr. Adams with a summons for breaking the health code at the property located on Lafayette Avenue. She said in her explanation of the infraction, “Active rat signs exist in that fresh rat droppings were detected near the metres and near the nearby stairway at front right.” This phrase refers to the fact that the author saw active rat indicators. The lowest possible fine is $300. The most possible is $600.
Mr. Adams made the decision to battle City Hall in a way that is not recommended for people who are not mayors. At first, he did not reply to the summons, and then, at the hearing that was planned for the summons, he did not show up.
Mr. Adams was judged to be in breach of the summons by default by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, often known as OATH. This tribunal is responsible for deciding cases involving administrative law and is abbreviated as described above.
Residents of the state of New York have the right to oppose such findings by submitting an online form that, according to the rules of OATH, constitutes a move to vacate default judgments. Mr. Adams went above and above by having Rahul Agarwal, a deputy chief counsel in the mayor’s office, handle the case on his behalf rather than hiring a private attorney to represent him in the issue.
Following the decision to allow the request, a fresh hearing was set for the 10th of November. Once again, Mr. Adams did not appear for the event.
Mr. Levy is quoted as saying, “Mayor Adams has made no secret of the fact that he despises rats, whether they are scurrying about on the streets or harassing the residents of buildings.” “He was pleased to come before OATH today to explain that he had spent thousands of dollars earlier this year to treat an infestation at his property in Brooklyn, and he did so in order to reveal that fact,”