The Democratic leader of the City Council is punishing Brooklyn Councilman Ari Kagan for switching to the Republican Party — stripping him of his committee chairmanship and relegating him to a smaller office, The Post has learned.
Kagan said Council Speaker Adrienne Adams was behind the decision to remove him as chair of the panel on resiliency and waterfront after he announced in December he’d ditched the Democrats over their far left, soft-on-crime policies despised by many of his pro-law and order constituents in southern Brooklyn.
“It shows pettiness! Nothing is happening in the New York City Council without permission from the Speaker. It’s the Speaker’s decision of course,” Kagan told The Post.
Kagan said he was also removed from the committees on land use, finance, housing and buildings — and that a resiliency and waterfront panel he headed was disbanded and merged with the environmental protection committee.
He was reassigned to other committees: fire prevention & management, technology and veterans affairs.
“I heard nothing in January, December and now I’m learning today they are voting to dissolve this committee. It shows the hypocrisy of the council leadership and the Democratic Party,” Kagan said.
“They say they care about hurricanes and storm preparedness and they don’t! They forced me to resign as the chair in December, and never appointed a new chair!”
He said he was also told he had to move from his more spacious digs to a smaller office with no windows at 250 Broadway across from City Hall.
Following redistricting, Kagan, if he wins the GOP primary, is expected to face off in November against Democratic Councilman Justin Brannan, who is part of Speaker Adams’ leadership team and chairman of the powerful finance committee.
The new 47th District covers parts of Brannan’s base in Bay Ridge to portions of Coney Island, Gravesend and Sea Gate, which Kagan currently represents.
Constituents in southern Brooklyn have turned against Democrats in recent years — with GOP Councilwoman Inna Vernikov and Republican Assemblyman Lester Chang capturing once safe Democratic seats the past few years.
Adrienne Adams’ office had immediate comment. Neither did Brannan.
But in December, Speaker Adams issued a statement slamming Kagan as a turncoat — suggesting payback was in the works.
“Voters sent Council Member Kagan to the Council as a member of the majority conference and this drastic about-face seriously calls into question his commitment to the policy priorities of our conference that will impact his committee roles, particularly his chairmanship given the fact that he is joining a party that denies climate change,” Adams said then.
“New Yorkers have expectations for their representatives to carry the values that they were elected to prioritize over politics. Our Democratic Conference will continue to consistently place the public interest of our city over politics without Council Member Kagan.”
Explaining his party switcheroo in December, Kagan said, “The Democratic Party in New York was moving to [the] left at such a speed I couldn’t keep up,” said Kagan.
“It’s not me leaving the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party very quickly started to leave me.”
“I believe right now, the Democratic Party is doing everything possible in New York City to make everybody less safe,” he said.