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NYC residency concerns loom over one of Mayor Adams’ Charter Revision Commission appointees

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One of the members of Mayor Adams’ Charter Revision Commission maintains a New Jersey residence, drives a car with Garden State plates and is registered to vote at a Brooklyn address where he doesn’t live — raising concern about whether he’s legally permitted to serve on the panel, according to a Daily News review of public records and a City Charter expert.

The Rev. Herbert Daughtry, a renowned 93-year-old preacher and civil rights leader who used to lead the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn, was among 13 people the mayor appointed to the Charter Revision Commission after its May 21 launch. The commission has been tasked with reviewing the City Charter to find ways to change it so it can better “contribute to public safety” and then, by an Aug. 5 deadline, present proposals for revisions that could make it onto November’s election ballot as referendum questions.

Under state law, all members of a mayoral Charter Revision Commission must be city residents.

The Rev. Herbert Daughtry.


The Rev. Herbert Daughtry was among 13 people the mayor appointed to the Charter Revision Commission. (Getty)

In an interview last week, Daughtry said the mayor’s office didn’t ask about his residency status before his appointment. He told The News he’s unsure whether he’s in compliance with the residency requirement.

“I don’t want to be in the middle of some controversy,” said Daughtry, who Adams describes as his “spiritual mentor” and as the person who convinced him to become an NYPD officer in the 1980s. “If my participation raises questions … and it takes away from the work that needs to be done, I have no problem to resign.”

The Conflicts of Interest Board has jurisdiction over Charter Revision Commissions. But COIB Executive Director Carolyn Miller said Monday the board “does not interpret or enforce residency requirements” and referred questions about the matter to the Law Department and the commission’s general counsel, Ed Kiernan, an attorney in Adams’ office.

The city Law Department did not return a request for comment.

Adams’ office confirmed Daughtry owns property in New Jersey and Georgia, but said he’s a city resident eligible to serve on the commission, too, and that he was vetted prior to his appointment. Adams’ office didn’t say what the vetting involved or if it consulted COIB as part of it.

“[Daughtry] brings 60 years of service as a church and community leader, a civil rights activist, and a voice for change in our city,” Adams spokesman Frank Dwyer said.

Daughtry retired as presiding minister of the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn in 2019. A bio on the church’s website mentions he now pastors the church’s Jersey City branch.

Property records show Daughtry owns a home in Teaneck, N.J. with his wife, and he confirmed to The News he considers that his residence. He also confirmed he drives a Nissan registered in New Jersey.

However, Daughtry said he spends time at a Brooklyn address and that he considers that his home, too, though he acknowledged he doesn’t live there as much anymore given he no longer preaches full-time at the Brooklyn church.

“I use both addresses,” he said.

Daughtry is also registered to vote in Brooklyn. However, the Washington Ave. address he’s registered at is different from the one where he said he lives while there. Asked about that discrepancy, he said he thought he was registered at the other address.

Mayor Adams, the Reverend Herbert Daughtry and the Reverend Al Sharpton join Good Friday services at Rikers Island. Robert N. Davoren Center. Friday, March 29, 2024.

Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor Adams, the Rev. Herbert Daughtry and the Rev. Al Sharpton on Rikers Island on March 29. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Louis Cholden-Brown, a lawyer who served as a staffer on the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, said Daughtry’s residency status raises alarm bells.

“It certainly has all the public perceptions of [Daughtry] potentially not being a resident,” Cholden-Brown said, adding lawyers often look at paperwork like car and voter registrations to determine residency.

The mayor has been accused of using the Charter Revision Commission to block a separate ballot referendum effort undertaken by the City Council that would expand the chamber’s oversight of 20 top city government posts the mayor can currently appoint without Council input.

In making that accusation, Council Democrats have pointed in particular to the short timeline the commission is expected to complete its work on. The mayor has denied the commission was created to disrupt the Council initiative.

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