Former NYC emergency management chief Joseph Esposito dies at 73: ‘Definition of public service’

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



Former New York City Office of Emergency Management commissioner Joseph Esposito has died after a battle with cancer, Mayor Eric Adams announced late Monday. He was 73.

Esposito, who most recently worked under Adams as deputy commissioner at the city’s buildings department, was described by the mayor as the “definition of public service.”

“He worked hard for his city, right up to the end. And he left it a better place,” Adams wrote in a statement posted to X.

Esposito’s tenure in city government spanned decades and countless crises, including leading the response for the NYPD as the Chief of Department in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Former NYC Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joe Esposito died Monday after a battle with cancer. LightRocket via Getty Images

The born and bred Brooklyn resident held that prestigious position in the NYPD from 2000 to 2013. He was widely respected within the department, having served in nearly all uniformed positions and also leading the NYPD’s response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

In 2014, Esposito took over as head of the city’s emergency management office. He led OEM during the 2016 Chelsea Bombing Terror Attack and the 2018 Flatiron Steam Pipe Explosion.

He was ousted as emergency management chief following the city’s response to a paralyzing snow storm in late 2018.

(L-R) Former NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, President George W. Bush, Esposito, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg visit the NYPD Police Headquarters Command Center on Feb. 6, 2002, in New York City. Getty Images
Esposito’s tenure in city government spanned decades and countless crises, including leading the response for the NYPD as the Chief of Department in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Matthew McDermott

Esposito returned to city government in September 2022 when Mayor Adams hired him as deputy commissioner for enforcement for the Department of Buildings.

At the time he was hired at the DOB, Esposito said that his top priority was the “safety of everyone who lives, works and visits” the Big Apple.

“Joe Esposito was not only a friend for almost 30 years, but he was the definition of public service,” Adams said. “He served his city on our darkest days and brightest moments, climbing the ranks from NYPD Officer to Chief of Department to NYC Emergency Management Commissioner.”

Flags will be flown at half staff in his honor Tuesday, Adams said. 

Esposito’s death was preceded by his beloved wife Christine Esposito.



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