Eric Adams calls probation commish Juanita Holmes ‘brilliant’

A controversial NYPD chief who butted heads with her top-cop boss for lowering academy standards and hosting raunchy rapper Cardi B got shunted from the Police Department — and straight into a cushy city gig courtesy of Mayor Eric Adams.

The longstanding tension between Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and one of her deputy chiefs, Juanita Holmes, came to a head last week when news emerged that Holmes allegedly went outside the chain of command to lower academy standards and spoke to The Post without approval to defend her actions, according to sources.

Sewell found herself in the position of having a chief of training who repeatedly used her influence inside the department and in City Hall to undermine her, police sources said.

Fearing a recent public airing of dirty laundry similar to the FDNY, Adams and his pair of former NYPD consultants, Tim Pearson and Deputy Mayor Phil Banks — all of whom have close ties to Holmes — moved to find the chief a soft landing spot and settled on the vacant city Commissioner of Probation.

Adams spent Friday fawning over Holmes and even shielding the controversial new commish from any questions from reporters at the City Hall press conference announcing her appointment. “I don’t listen to the noise. We looked at other candidates, and I know the skill set that Commissioner Holmes brings,” the mayor said of his new pick.

Adams flatly denied Holmes went over anyone’s head to get NYPD Academy standards lowered — even though sources told The Post that Sewell and another higher-up were against the move, so Holmes went to the mayor for support. 

Holmes herself told The Post that she won the mayor’s approval in the end.

Mayor Eric Adams will announce the appointment of Juanita Holmes as commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation (DOP)
Mayor Adams appointed Juanita Holmes to the new spot Friday.
NYC Mayor’s Office

“I’m not rewarding anyone that broke the chain of command. I’m not going to worry, ’cause as chief and now as the commissioner, she respects the chain of command,” Adams said of Holmes.

In praising Holmes as his new pick, the mayor specifically hailed her as “brilliant” for having Cardi B — the rapper behind the foul-mouthed, sexed-up “WAP” song and video — perform for young girls at a Girls Talk event at the Police Academy in Queens last month.

The appearance also reportedly disrupted an exam for hundreds of recruits booted from the auditorium.“The only disappointing aspect of you having Cardi is I wasn’t invited,” Hizzoner said jokingly to Holmes Friday.

“There are those who critique, ‘Why would you bring Cardi B, she was arrested,’ ” Adams said of the rapper, who was convicted in a violent strip-club brawl that forced her to do community service, which included the girls event.

“The same reason [Holmes] brought Cardi B is why people voted for me, because I was arrested,” said Adams, a former cop who was busted as a teen for criminal trespassing after allegedly getting stiffed by a prostitute for whom he ran errands.

“You don’t discard people,” Adams said — adding that Holmes bringing the rapper to the event “was a brilliant idea.

“She understands we don’t give up on people,” Adams said of Holmes.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell nixed the idea of eliminating the 1.5-mile run at the academy, but Holmes allegedly went over her head to the mayor to get it dropped.
Caroline Willis/Mayoral Photo Office

Holmes’ boss at the time, Sewell, was unaware of Cardi B’s invite — and was furious she hadn’t been consulted beforehand, sources told The Post. 

Sewell also was reportedly upset that Cardi B was chosen to talk to young girls, given the rapper’s criminal past and raunchy professional work.

As for the way Holmes scrapped the timed 1.5-mile run requirement for new NYPD recruits while she was head of training for the Police Department — allegedly doing an end-run around her then-boss — Adams refused to let Holmes answer any questions about it.

“She has a new job and a new role,” Adams said of Holmes. “She’s not going to be giving her advice on things that impact NYPD.

“She’s now commissioner at Probation.”

Since Sewell came into the NYPD as an outsider, she repeatedly ran up against Holmes, who was the only internal candidate for the top cop spot under Adams’ new administration.

Just weeks into the police commissioner’s tenure, she bumped Holmes down from her role as chief of patrol to make room in the executive ranks for Chief Jeff Maddrey, who has since been elevated to chief of department.

It was unclear if Holmes’ new role would come with a pay bump.

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh also has had to deal with major publicized internal strife, which began heating up when she unceremoniously demoted several senior officers last month, sparking what some members call a mutiny in the ranks.