A Brooklyn power broker in the running for a job in Eric Adams’ new administration had his law firm make a $50,000 no-interest loan to save a summer concert series closely tied to the mayor-elect, emails obtained by the Daily News reveal.
Frank Carone, a lawyer for the Brooklyn Democratic Party and partner at the politically connected Abrams Fensterman law firm, has served as both Adams’ lawyer and fund-raiser. Emails obtained by The News through a Freedom of Information request shed new light on Carone’s close ties to the Brooklyn borough president and future mayor.
In the summer of 2019, Carone and his law firm came to the rescue of the Wingate Concert Series, which serves as an Adams showcase, after it ran into financial trouble. Adams regularly appeared onstage at the popular annual shows, which have featured the likes of Slick Rick and R&B star Monica. Promotional flyers prominently credited Adams for organizing the free event.
Adams sponsored the series through the borough president’s office and his nonprofit, One Brooklyn. In 2017, he tapped the nonprofit Make Music New York to run the concerts.
Over the next three years, Make Music’s budget ballooned from less than $200,000 to nearly $1 million, and Borough Hall’s annual contribution doubled — from $100,000 to $200,000 — making Adams’ office the group’s top government benefactor, records show.
But in 2019, Make Music’s expenses shot up by $300,000, according to public records.
For the show to go on, the nonprofit needed money fast.
Enter Carone and his politically plugged-in law partner Howard Fensterman. Adams’ deputy, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, introduced them to the head of Make Music New York, James Burke.
“They understand the urgency,” Lewis-Martin wrote to the three men in
an introductory email on June 20, 2019. “When others fail, Howard and