The New York Times, recently published an article accusing NYC Mayor Eric Adams and his staff of fabricating a picture of a deceased coworker that Adams claimed to have kept in his wallet for years.
During his first month in office, Adams, a Democrat and former police captain, said he carried a photograph of Officer Robert Venable, who was killed in 1987, in his wallet.
A week later, during a photo shoot with the New York Times, Adams proudly displayed the portrait of Venable in his office. He repeated this narrative in subsequent interviews and during a graduation ceremony at the Police Academy.
Adams told the Times in 2022 that he carried the picture around in his wallet until his wallet got “too bulky.” He said Venable was a very dear friend.
However, it was reported by the Times that the photo was a fraud. Not only had it not been in Adam’s wallet for years, but it was also manufactured by City Hall staff members in the days following Adams’s original assertion.
Google provided a black-and-white image of Venable, which was then aged by pouring coffee on it.
Two ex-City Hall staffers who spoke to the Times said they learned the picture’s backstory shortly after its production last year.
A representative for the mayor’s office blasted the newspaper but did not entirely refute the claim.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Fabien Levy called the article part of a “campaign to paint the mayor as a liar.”
Despite repeated queries regarding the freshly printed, coffee-stained photo, he maintained that Adams had carried a photograph of Venable for decades after the officer’s murder.
The Times was able to authenticate Adams and Venable’s friendship through interviews with many former transit police officers who worked together with both men.
Many of Adams’ offbeat, relatable experiences were deemed “difficult to verify” by The New York Times.
Is Adams a liar?
After it was revealed that he had eaten fish at several of Manhattan’s trendiest eateries, he was famously forced to retract his claim that he is a vegan.
Adams had previously referred to Venable as “one of my closest friends,” adding that Venable “died when he was shot in the head when responding to a call.”
That week we were taking a vacation together,” he said.
Robert Venable’s daughter January, who was just eight when her father was slain, said last year that she had no recollection of ever meeting Adams. But, she showed little interest in whether or not the mayor’s statements regarding the photo’s legitimacy were factual.