Timothy Pearson retires from Resorts World New York City
August 15, 2022
Timothy Pearson, a retired Police Department inspector and a close confidant of New York City mayor Eric Adams, has retired from the Resorts World New York City after his hiring earlier this year, the company confirmed Sunday.
Pearson's hiring was a slight shocker to many as Adams had him "under an unusual arrangement", The New York Times wrote, which allowed him to collect salaries from both the casino as well as Adams' office via his police pension. Both Resorts World and city officials had refused to disclose his salary.
While serving as a vice president overseeing security at the casino, Pearson was also a senior adviser for public safety and COVID for Adams. Good government advocates had criticized and argued that Pearson's dual role could potentially lead to a conflict of interest, as the retired inspector may provide resources to the casino and, to some extent, support from the City Hall, which could help the casino's expansion plan while setting aside other casino bidders.
Concerns over Pearson's dual hiring role
The casino released a statement announcing Pearson's retirement on Sunday. "Tim is a distinguished hero who served the city for many years as a leader at NYPD. Tim used those same skills to keep our facility and community safe for over a decade," the statement reads. "We support his decision to lend his expertise to the city in its pursuit of making our streets safer, and we wish him well."
Adams' office, via mayor spokesperson, Fabien Levy, has said that Pearson's hiring did not incur a conflict of interest and argued that citizens should be grateful that Pearson chose to focus on contributing to public safety and COVID recovery efforts.
Adams had also previously commented on Pearson's dual role. Although the mayor did not touch upon potential friction between Pearson's public and private salary sources, Adams asserted that everything was in accordance with the law.
"Well darn it, I want someone that I've known over 30 years, that has the experience to deal with public safety. This is a great hire," Adams previously said.
Levy had also insisted that Pearson's dual role did not overlap with each other. But, concerns remain as Pearson's hiring earlier this year came not long after the city had a massive overhaul to its gambling law that took place in April — the Big Apple may now have three additional PA casinos as the city has approved three gambling licenses.
Since then, the casino race in NY, as well as the competition to win over Adams and his men, has kicked off. The race reportedly involves four heavy gambling hitters: Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd., as well as Hard Rock International. Meanwhile, Resorts World was also considered to be a front-runner that may receive one of the licenses despite its services only including electronic games, The Times noted.
Pearson's retirement was welcomed by Reinvent Albany, a government ethics watchdog. "It reduces the conflict of interest that he had," Reinvent Albany executive director John Kaehny said.
Pearson has declined to comment on the matter.