A lot of unknowns
New York City (NYC) Department of Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich has been questioned by Manhattan district attorney investigators as part of an illegal gambling investigation. Investigators had a search warrant to seize a mobile device from Ulrich Tuesday morning.
There are not too many details about the exact focus of the investigation. According to one New York Times source, the investigation is focused on activity that took place before Ulrich became a part of NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ administration.
currently no allegations of criminal wrongdoing against him
There has been no change in his role as of yet. Ulrich is a former city councilman and was a special advisor to the mayor before becoming building commissioner in May. There are currently no allegations of criminal wrongdoing against him. A spokesperson for Mayor Adams said that they were not aware of the investigation.
Previous links to an illegal operation
This is not the first time that Ulrich has been involved in gambling-related controversy. Back in 2018 when he was a part of the City Council, Ulrich wrote an official letter supporting one of his constituents who allegedly had ties to organized crime. The person in question was said to be a Bonanno crime family associate and was facing federal charges for collecting an illegal gambling debt. These types of operations have historically been a lucrative source of revenue for New York-based crime groups.
The illegal gambling operation reportedly took in over $26m across a period of two decades. People who failed to pay money they owed would be subject to threats and attacks. Ulrich wrote a letter seeking leniency in the sentencing, with Robert Pisani ultimately receiving a 30-month prison sentence.
A history of gambling
Ulrich has previously gone public with some of his personal struggles. He revealed on social media last year that he was struggling with alcohol addiction. He also has some history with gambling. Back in 2016, he informed the Conflicts of Interest Board that he had won somewhere between $5,000 and $47,999 by gambling.
he had won between $10,000 and $12,000 playing slot machines
It was reported at the time that he had won between $10,000 and $12,000 playing slot machines at the Resorts World Casino in his district of Queens. Ulrich has disclosed similar gambling wins in subsequent years.