A top FDNY lawyer is a front-runner to become the next fire commissioner — and would be the first woman to have the job, The Post has learned.
Terryl Brown, 60, who joined the FDNY seven years ago as its chief legal counsel and deputy commissioner for legal affairs, is a finalist in Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ search to lead the nation’s largest fire department and its more than 17,000 uniformed and civilian employees, according to multiple sources in the FDNY and another close to Adams.
If she gets the job, Brown would make history as the first female – and only third African-American – to lead the FDNY since its inception in 1865.
“She is a phenomenal person who’s well liked, and you won’t find a better attorney,” said one FDNY honcho who predicted Brown’s selection would be backed by the rank-and-file.
But another FDNY insider expressed skepticism about Brown, a civilian with extensive experience as a government lawyer, but none as a first-responder.
“How do you put somebody in charge of the largest fire department in the world with no emergency preparedness?” said the source. “We’re going into disasters, not a courthouse.”
Former Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta also lacked emergency preparedness experience.
The $243,171-a-year post is currently held by Daniel Nigro, who has expressed interest in retaining his job under Adams, sources said. First Deputy Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh also threw her hat in the ring.
A week before replacing term-limited Bill de Blasio as mayor, Adams has already made it clear that women will play a big role in his administration.
The mayor-elect on Monday announced five women with plenty of experience with government and nonprofit groups would serve as his deputy mayors.
Days earlier, Adams, a retired police captain, made good on a campaign promise by appointing the city’s first female police commissioner. Nassau County Chief of Detectives Keechant Sewell will become the third African-American to serve as NYPD’s top cop when she takes over in January.