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Mayor Adams says he made the call to let Winnie Greco return to work after FBI raids

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Director of Asian Affairs Winnie Greco are pictured at a celebration recognizing the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Gracie Mansion on Friday, September 9, 2022. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Director of Asian Affairs Winnie Greco are pictured at a celebration recognizing the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Gracie Mansion on Friday, September 9, 2022. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)
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Mayor Adams said Tuesday that he made the call to let his embattled adviser return to work at City Hall this month.

But the mayor would not elaborate on what influenced his decision to let Greco, whose homes were raided by the FBI earlier this year, come back, only saying that employment matters such as hers are handled on “a case by case basis.”

“The final decision is up to me, and that’s the final decision we made,” he told reporters at City Hall.

Greco, who serves as Adams’ Asian community liaison and has been a prolific fundraisers for his various political campaigns over the years, came back to work in early May after going on paid sick leave in February in the wake of FBI agents raiding her two Pelham Bay homes.

The exact focus of the investigation that prompted the raids remains unclear, and Greco hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.

The searches of her homes came on the same day the feds raided the New World Mall in Queens, where Greco helped host multiple fundraisers for Adams’ 2021 campaign that generated tens of thousands of dollars in contributions, some of which have been .

Mayor Eric Adams and Director of Asian Affairs Winnie Greco are pictured at the 21st Autumn Moon Festival and 12th China Day Festival on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.
Mayor Eric Adams and Director of Asian Affairs Winnie Greco are pictured at the 21st Autumn Moon Festival and 12th China Day Festival on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.

Also at the time of the raids, Greco was known to be facing scrutiny from the Department of Investigation over allegations that she misused municipal resources, including by having a subordinate help renovate her kitchen.

A separate federal investigation into allegations that the Turkish government funneled illegal foreign money into Adams’ 2021 campaign coffers prompted FBI agents to raid the home of another Adams aide, Rana Abbasova, last fall.

Abbasova was suspended from her job shortly after the raid, and she has not been allowed to return to work, according to sources familiar with the matter. Adams has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the probe.

Adams declined to explain at Tuesday’s news conference why Abbasova, unlike Greco, hasn’t been allowed to come back.

“I talked about it already, there’s no more I have to add to that,” he said.

Rana Abbasova (ϲʿֱ.gov)
Rana Abbasova (ϲʿֱ.gov)

In addition to being allowed to return to work, it was that Greco has since last summer received a $96,267 raise.

Asked Tuesday what prompted the raises, Adams said Greco was among members of his administration who came onboard with salaries that “were not in parity” with their job descriptions.

“To their credit, they didn’t complain every day,” he said. “They continued to do the job.”

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