Adams' chief of staff to launch global consulting firm

NEW YORK — The chief of staff and long-time friend to Mayor Eric Adams is launching his own consulting firm after one year in the public sector.

Frank Carone, who left his $251,982-a-year City Hall post in December, plans to stay involved in politics by working for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as the new Democratic Congressional leader looks to take back the House of Representatives.

He has also already signed deals to represent New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and medical provider Northwell Health. He’s in talks with El Al as the Israeli airline company pursues expansion plans, as well as one of his go-to restaurants — the swanky Cipriani.

Carone will restart Oaktree Solutions — a company he conceived in 2008 — in the coming weeks, occupying an entire floor of a 35-story Fifth Avenue building that overlooks Central Park. He divulged the much-anticipated details of his plans for the first time during a recent interview from his City Hall office, where a whiteboard displays the Eisenhower Matrix near a stack of copies of his book, “Everyone Wins! How You Can Enhance And Optimize business Relationships Just Like Ultra-Wealthy Entrepreneurs.”

The politically-connected attorney, who speaks with the accent of a Brooklyn native and dines in some of the city’s most upscale eateries, said his company would offer advice on a range of issues including litigation, business development and crisis management.

He said he would not lobby City Hall, citing a years-long ban on municipal employees interacting with their former agencies, and vowed to exceed that rule.

“I will not interact with City Hall at all,” Carone said in a follow-up Zoom interview. “I fully intend on going beyond what the law requires, because I don’t want bad optics or a bad image.”

“I am not going to lobby, nor am I going to indirectly lobby,” he said. “I’ll talk to the mayor about things that are personal to the mayor or relevant to him personally, not personal or relevant to me or my personal business life.”

He said his staff might lobby the Adams administration after the one-year ban expires.

As for Carone, he plans to focus on bigger things.

“I will be doing really robust [work] in Washington. I will do it on the state level and I will be continuing to travel around the world," he said about his plans to recruit companies to open offices in New York. "And I will help them navigate the Byzantine set of rules sometimes, and avoid landmines.”

He is in talks with a large insurance company, several tech startups, a luxury hotelier and casino operators vying for a license to operate in the city, he said. His brother, Anthony Carone, will join his company while staying employed at his former law practice — Brooklyn-based Abrams Fensterman.

Carone also intends to run a venture capital subsidiary and work on an ad hoc basis with Abrams Fensterman, from which he divested for an untold sum before becoming chief of staff.

Before joining Adams at City Hall, Carone provided the Brooklyn Democratic Party with legal guidance while growing his practice into a massive firm. When he arrived, he became a liaison to business leaders and real estate developers — a crowd that felt ostracized by former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s constant criticism of wealth.

He spearheaded a deal with Gov. Kathy Hochul to unveil a sprawling life sciences hub on Manhattan's East Side. He was also integral in crafting a proposal to build the city’s first professional soccer stadium in Willets Point in Queens.

“The Willets deal was extraordinarily complicated. He was the center. He was the core person. When you spoke to him you clearly felt like you were speaking to the mayor,” Charles John O’Byrne, executive vice president at Related Companies, said in an interview.

Like O’Byrne, other business and real estate executives — including Bradley Tusk of Tusk Strategies and former de Blasio official Carl Weisbrod of HR&A Advisors — said they didn’t know Carone before Adams took office but quickly came to rely upon him.

“He will have a lot of people who are going to want advice on the city and the mayor and just more broadly how to get shit done around here, and he knows how to do it,” Tusk said.

O’Byrne, whose company is developing the area around Wilets, described Carone as Adams’ “alter ego.”

The mayor has gushed over Carone — publicly calling him “my brother” and privately touting his role in trying to secure the opportunity to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. A decision is expected in the next month.

To that end, Carone will chair the mayor’s 2025 reelection campaign and said he would remain involved in the DNC bid.