Mayor Adams revealed Thursday he didn’t initially plan to fire a City Hall aide caught on camera making disparaging remarks about him — but had a change of heart after additional footage emerged of the staffer unloading on NYPD officers.
The now-former staffer, Christopher Baugh, was terminated Wednesday, as first reported by the Daily News, after the right-wing Project Veritas group disseminated secretly recorded video clips of him calling Adams “corrupt” and questioning his ability to lead the city through the migrant crisis.
But in an unrelated Thursday afternoon press conference, Adams said he wasn’t bothered by Baugh’s lament about him.
“The team came to me and stated, ‘Are we getting rid of him?’ I said, ‘No.’ People crap on me every day, you can’t be thin-skinned. Being the mayor means you’re crapped on,” Adams told reporters.
Adams said his mind changed once he saw another clip of Baugh belittling NYPD officers, though.
“When you have disparaging remarks about first responders, that’s unacceptable,” said the mayor, himself a retired NYPD captain. “I know what first responders went through, I cannot allow that to happen and my team cannot be a part of that ... You got to have thick skin in this business. My first responders do not need to have thick skin, and I’m going to stand up for them.”
Referring to city cops who have gotten fired or suspended for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Baugh said in the damning video: “They chose not to do a very, very harmless thing that protects the rest of society. F--k them ... I don’t give a s--t. They are like, ‘This is unfair.’ F----ng deal with it.”
The aide, who worked on a City Hall team that sets up events for the mayor, was also caught in the clip saying, “Being a cop is like the cushiest gig in the city. Like, you might get shot, but otherwise, it’s very good.”
It’s unclear when or why Baugh met with the Project Veritas operative who covertly caught him on tape.
The group is infamous for tricking Democratic government officials and journalists into making embarrassing comments while filming them.
Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, the NYPD’s largest union, cheered on Adams for booting Baugh.
“This moron has no business serving this city, because he clearly knows nothing about it,” Lynch said. “He needs a strong dose of reality. Mayor Adams did the right thing by sending him to the unemployment line.”