By Celina Tebor and Kiely Westhoff, CNN
New York Mayor Eric Adams, a vocal rat opponent who has made fighting the rodents a priority for City Hall, was fined for a rat infestation at one of his Brooklyn properties, according to a copy of a health code violation and a spokesperson for the mayor.
Adams was issued a summons dated May 10 for a health code violation stemming from a rodent infestation at the property in Bedford-Stuyvesant, noting the minimum penalty was a $300 fine, and the maximum penalty a $600 fine.
The hearing before the New York Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings was eventually scheduled for Tuesday, at which time the mayor attended the hearing, his spokesperson Fabien Levy confirmed in a statement to CNN. Online records from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearing indicate the mayor owes a balance of $330.
“Mayor Adams has made no secret of the fact that he hates rats — whether scurrying around on the streets or terrorizing building tenants,” Levy said. “He spent thousands of dollars to remediate an infestation at his residence in Brooklyn earlier this year, and was happy to appear before OATH today to state as much.”
In an interview with NY1 Wednesday, Adams said he spent $6,800 on rat mitigation at his property, adding he “did a good job.”
“And I want other New Yorkers, if you believe you were fined unfairly, utilize your right to go in front of a person to state, ‘Here’s my case. My receipts are clear,'” he said on NY1.
Adams has repeatedly reiterated his abhorrence of the city’s rats, recently launching a concerted effort to rid the streets of its most notorious furry inhabitants.
At an October news conference, Adams and Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch announced they were limiting the number of hours residential and commercial trash can sit on the curb before being picked up in hopes of addressing what they depicted as an “all-night, all-you-can-eat rat buffet.”
“The rats don’t run this city,” the commissioner said at the time. “We do.”
More recently, City Hall announced it was recruiting a new “director of rodent mitigation” to tackle the issue. The job listing indicates the city is looking for a so-called “rat czar” who is “highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty” with a “swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor, and general aura of badassery.”
The director would be the public face of the city’s fight against the rat population and report to the deputy mayor for operations, per the listing. The gig’s salary ranges from $120,000 to $170,000.
“There is a rodent problem in the city and you don’t have to go far to know that I hate rats,” Adams said on NY1 Wednesday. “And that is why we are bringing on the rat czar. That is why we are doing what’s necessary.”
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CNN’s Dakin Andone and Zoe Sottile contributed to this report.