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Brooklyn Borough President Questioned Over Donation Request for Non-Existent Charity

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The new Brooklyn borough president is already on the hot seat, as Eric Adams is dealing with questions about a meeting he held at Borough Hall last week that included a request for donations for a charity that doesn't exist. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

A meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall may come with a price.

Last Thursday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams invited many of the city's largest companies for a get-to-know-you session at Borough Hall.

It turns out that it also included, at least on paper, a request for donations.

"That was an oversight on our part," Adams said.

Adams is already playing defense.

"At no time did I ask for any money. At no time did I ask for anyone to make a contribution," he said.

Major real estate developers and corporations like National Grid and Con Edison were asked if they were interested in sponsoring some of Adams' community events, donating money to his so-called nonprofit organization, which he was calling One Brooklyn. However, that group doesn't exist.

"One Brooklyn is not open. There are no checking accounts for One Brooklyn," Adams said.

After the meeting was reported in the New York Post on Tuesday, Adams held a press conference in Borough Hall to explain.

"At no time did I ask for them to contribute to a nonprofit that was not started already. The misstep on our part, there was a sentence that was an oversight," said Adams.

The solicitation was just on the invitation, he said, an invitation that his staff members said they would release Tuesday at noon.

They never did. Instead, an attendee instead gave NY1 the meeting handout, materials that included a survey for these corporations to fill out to see how they could contribute to the non-existent nonprofit group.

"It's very bizarre for there to have been such a sloppy and blatant effort at trying to collect money for a nonprofit that does not even yet exist," said Dick Dadey of Citizens Union.

City conflicts of interest law allows officials to set up nonprofits to raise funds for city purposes, but they need board approval. Adams does not yet have the OK.

For now, it's unclear what the fate of One Brooklyn may be. Adams told NY1 that his lawyer is working on some final paperwork.

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