Phil Banks is staying tight-lipped about his future with the Adams administration. The deputy mayor for public safety declined to answer one way or the other when asked several times at a briefing on Friday whether he would be resigning by the end of the year, following political commentator Gerson Borrero tweeting earlier this week that he planned to do so.
When asked whether he would be resigning by the Daily News’ Chris Sommerfeldt – who also reported hearing that Banks was on his way out – Banks asked him who his sources were. “When you tell me who you heard it from, I’ll answer the question,” Banks said.
Attempts by other outlets, including City & State, to ask Banks whether he planned to stay on with the administration went unanswered, as Banks said the public “could care less.”He said what the public does want to know about is safety, including the work of the Department of Probation. That was the stated purpose of Friday’s public safety briefing, and Banks was joined by Department of Probation Commissioner Juanita Holmes and several other officials to talk generally about what the department does.
Banks used to hold these public safety briefings regularly, though today’s briefing was the first one in months. It wasn’t held to announce any news, but just to “keep New Yorkers informed of exactly what's going on from a public safety perspective,” Banks said.
Banks didn’t shed much light on a few other topics he was asked about, including when Department of Corrections Commissioner Louis Molina would be transitioning into his new assistant deputy mayor role. Banks also wouldn’t confirm whether representatives from the New York City Police Department will attend a City Council hearing scheduled for later this month on surveillance technology. That hearing has already been canceled three times after the NYPD pulled out citing conflicting commitments. “I can’t tell you right now whether they will or will not, but there are a lot of discussions going back and forth about that hearing,” he said, when asked whether police department officials would actually show up for the Dec. 15 hearing. “The issue will be settled one way or the other, whether they come to the hearing or whether they don’t come to the hearing.”
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