A longtime Brooklyn community board chair says Borough President Eric Adams retaliated against him after he accused the borough chief of firing a 66-year-old district manager because she was “too old.”
Jacob Goldstein, who served as head of Community Board 9 for nearly 20 years until 2014, claims in his Brooklyn federal court lawsuit that Adams purposely didn’t reappoint him in February as a member over the debacle.
In his $20 million suit, Goldstein claims Adams told him that Pearl Miles, one of the few paid employees of CB9, was “too old for the job and ‘had to go.’”
But Goldstein questioned the “draconian remedy,” telling the Beep that she was “qualified, competent and efficient at her job,” according to the complaint.
He also told Adams — who appoints half of the 50-member board that it was illegal to fire Miles without cause.
“Eric Adams gave a direct threat that either [Goldstein] acquiesce in his demand to fire Pearl Miles because of her older age or suffer retaliation,” the suit says.
Miles served as district manager for 22 years before she was ousted last October by CB9 appointees that were “hand-picked” by Adams, papers say.
“I was told, you’re too old. You need to retire,” Miles previously told The Post. “Ever since Eric Adams came into office I feel they have been trying to get me out.”
She immediately filed a $10 million lawsuit, which is still pending, along with an affidavit by Goldstein backing up her claims.
Goldstein said he faced backlash over his sworn statement in May, just as he was up for reappointment to his 44th consecutive year as a board member.
A letter from Adams’ senior advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin notified him that he wouldn’t be reappointed, though it “cited no misconduct on the part of [Goldstein] as a basis for removing him as a board member … and gave a pretextual excuse of ‘giving other residents the opportunity to sit on the board’ as a concocted justification for [his] removal,” the lawsuit says.
Goldstein, who is also a rabbi, had served as chair from 1979 until 1994 and again from 1995 to 2014, when he left the post.
In addition to Adams, he is suing Lewis-Martin and city Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, who also selects a certain number CB9 members.
Goldstein asked Cumbo, whose district spans some of CB9, to reappoint him directly – but he claims that she “acted in concert” with Adams and Lewis-Martin when she refused.
CB9 covers Crown Heights, Flatbush and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
“The complaint will be reviewed,” a city Law Department spokesman said.
“We do not comment on pending litigation regarding the agency,” said Adams’ spokesman Stefan Ringel.