For years, as an elected official and candidate for New York City mayor, Eric Adams publicly promoted an unconventional police tool called BolaWrap, a device designed to fire a Kevlar tether that ensnares people who might fight or try to flee from authorities. What was not widely known was that a friend, political benefactor and current chief of staff, Frank Carone, had a significant financial stake in the company that makes it, the New York Times reports. Carone invested nearly 1 million dollars in Wrap technologies, the BolaWrap maker, over a three-year period, and earned more than $460,000 in profits while Adams was publicizing the company's chief product. Carone and Adams say Adams was unaware of Carone's investment until it was brought to their attention last month. The two say that Adams's promotion of BolaWrap was entirely coincidental. “You’re right to ask these questions," Carone said. "It is very coincidental. I get all that. But my life has been that way.”
Adams repeatedly generated publicity that benefited the company and its shareholders, including Carone. Adams may have violated city rules against using his government office to advance private interests. His spokesperson said that Adams's only goal in promoting BolaWrap was to call for innovative, nonlethal technology to "reduce shootings and save lives." Adam never personally invested in Wrap Technologies. He learned of the product in fall 2018 and held a demonstration a week later. Carone bought into the company in December 2017 and in the years following, Carone and Adams were in regular contact to lay the groundwork for Adams's mayoral run. Carone said their conversations never involved private business matters.