After a young female transit cop accused members of a fraternal organization for Black police officers of cheating on a sergeant’s exam in 1991, Eric Adams—then a police officer and the group’s first vice president—orchestrated a sexist smear campaign against her. According to a new report from The City, Adams, now New York City’s Democratic mayoral nominee, portrayed Lizette Lebron as a “scorned lover” of one of the accused. He also passed local media a photo of the 24-year-old officer in a bikini.
Adams issued an apology for his past behavior in a short statement to The City: “Over 30 years ago we attempted to get to the core of a testing scandal. The way we treated Ms. Lebron during that process was wrong, and I regret that it happened. I have evolved as a person, a father and a leader over time, and I will continue to evolve to improve myself and the city around me.” He declined to answer specific questions.
Lebron, whose whistleblowing led to criminal charges and convictions for three of the implicated officers, said in 1997 that Adams’ campaign stalled her career and “shattered” her dreams of being a police officer. “He should regret what he did,” she told The City. “They should all regret what they did because I was telling the truth and I backed up what I said.”