For weeks, Philip Banks III has been Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ quarterback on criminal justice issues, helping define how the incoming administration will handle perhaps its most important task: addressing public safety in a fair and equitable manner.
Seven years after suddenly resigning as the highest-ranking uniformed member of the NYPD, Banks is now back at One Police Plaza — working out of an office there and talking with brass about the state of the department. He’s also taken part in the interviews of police commissioner candidates, multiple sources say.
He is said to be high on Adams’ list to be deputy mayor for public safety — an appointment that could come soon given the New York Post’s report Tuesday that the mayor-elect has anointed Keechant Sewell, Nassau County’s chief of detectives, as police commissioner. If tapped, Banks would join his brother David, whom Adams recently named schools chancellor, in the new administration.
But just a few years ago, Philip Banks found himself in a very different place — implicated in multiple criminal schemes involving money laundering, bribery and tax fraud.
FBI agents uncovered evidence that Banks, while NYPD’s chief of department, accepted thousands of dollars in free meals and sports tickets — even a $20,000 “gift” from a corrupt businessman seeking to bribe his way to favorable treatment from the police, prosecutors said.
The FBI concluded Banks was regularly depositing small amounts of cash…