In 2008, Mr. Carone started a law practice with Frank R. Seddio, a former police officer and state assemblyman. The two men joined Abrams Fensterman in 2011, starting the firm’s Brooklyn office, and Mr. Seddio became chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party in 2012. Mr. Carone, as counsel to the party, was seen by many party members as the true source of power behind the organization.
Mr. Carone has mostly kept a low profile, but his work has sometimes exploded into public view, most prominently in 2019, when he represented a pair of notorious landlords who sold 17 buildings in Brooklyn and the Bronx to the city to be used as affordable housing.
The city agreed to pay $173 million to the landlords, Stuart and Jay Podolsky, who are brothers, for the buildings, which were rife with code violations. The amount was $30 million more than an appraisal had determined the buildings were worth.
While the negotiations were underway, Mr. Carone donated and solicited donors for a political action committee that Mr. de Blasio was using as he planned his run for president. At the time, both Mr. Carone and Mr. de Blasio said they had not discussed the real estate deal.
To assist with divesting his assets so that he could serve in the Adams administration, Mr. Carone retained a lawyer, Claude Millman, and spoke with an ethicist, Mr. Arzt said. Mr. Carone said he attended an online legal training on Wednesday morning with other future staff members that was led by Brendan R. McGuire, who will serve as Mr. Adams’s chief counsel.
Mr. Adams views the chief of staff job as one of the most important in his administration. He and Mr. Carone have discussed two books with staff members at recent team meetings, Mr. Carone said: Daniel Coyle’s “The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups,” and “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency,” by Chris Whipple, which Mr. Carone suggested.
“Eric and I have exchanged books for many years,” Mr. Carone said. “I recommended it to the mayor-elect, and he read it with gusto.”