Mayor Adams Jewish liaison Joel Eisdorfer sued over failed business deal

The deal to buy a restaurant was nixed after Eisdorfer’s $300,000 deposit check bounced, but the real estate agent is still suing for his broker fee

Joel Eisdorfer seated to Mayor Adams’s left at a meeting of the mayor’s Jewish Advisory Council. Credit: NYC Mayor’s office/Flickr

Apr 1, 2024 12:40 PM


Apr 1, 2024 8:15 PM

Joel Eisdorfer, a senior advisor and Jewish community liaison to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, is being sued for failing to pay a $355,000 broker’s fee on a restaurant deal, the New York Daily News reported. The deal to buy a restaurant in South Brooklyn was effectively canceled after Eisdorfer’s $300,000 deposit check bounced, but the real estate agent who brokered the deal is still suing for payment.

Several months after he began working for the mayor, Eisdorfer signed a contract to pay $3.55 million to buy Tamaqua Marina, a restaurant and dock in Gerritsen Beach, according to the lawsuit in Kings County Supreme Court. But when Eisdorfer later backed out of the deal, he allegedly failed to pay the agreed-upon broker’s fee to real estate agent Danny Odato. Odato’s suit says a judge should order Eisdorfer to pay the 10% broker’s fee.

The Daily News said there was no indication that Eisdorfer violated any laws by trying to buy the restaurant while working for the mayor. City officials like Eisdorfer are allowed to own private companies while in public service as long as they don’t do business with any municipal agencies.

Eisdorfer, who has worked in City Hall since early 2022, was added on Wednesday to a list of city employees with “substantial” influence over public policy. The list includes employees who have “major responsibilities and [exercise] independent judgment in connection with determining important agency matters,” according to rules from the city’s Conflict of Interest Board. 

In an email, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said that there are over 3,000 individuals on the substantial policy discretion list from across city government, and argued that someone’s inclusion on the list “does not reflect whether they are actually making policy.” The spokesperson did not say why Eisdorfer was not previously on the list, or whether Eisdorfer consulted the COIB about the deal. 

Eisdorfer did not respond immediately to Shtetl’s request for comment. The COIB deferred questions about the reasoning for the addition to the mayor’s office.

Eisdorfer has previously served as a board member for the Borough Park Jewish Community Council and a member of Brooklyn Community Board 12, according to Hamodia. He started working for Adams when Adams was a state senator. When Adams became Brooklyn borough president, Eisdorfer was also part of his senior staff.

In 2022, Eisdorfer described his work for the mayor in comments to JTA, saying, “I ensure that the needs and concerns of the many different Jewish communities of New York City are addressed.”

This article has been updated to reflect comments from the New York City mayor’s office.