Former NYC buildings official is indicted
The former commissioner of New York City's Department of Buildings has been indicted.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment on September 13, 2023.
Bragg's announcement reads:
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., and New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Jocelyn E. Strauber today announced the indictments of former New York City Department of Buildings (“DOB”) Commissioner ERIC ULRICH, 38, for misusing his authority in every public service position he held – as a New York City Councilmember, then a Senior Advisor to the Mayor of New York City, and finally as DOB Commissioner – to benefit his friends and associates in exchange for bribes.
Politico reports that "Ulrich was among seven people charged in the wide-ranging investigation with the allegations spread across five separate indictments that detailed an elaborate bribery scheme."
Some details from the indictment
Politico highlights some of the allegations that have been made by Bragg against Ulrich.
In general, Politico writes that "the indictments lay out quid-pro-quo schemes in which Ulrich steered city government resources toward a friend or acquaintance and then received money or gifts in exchange."
Politico goes on to give an example in which Ulrich is alleged to have benefited the owners of Queens Pizzeria and the owner of a towing company "by expediting various inspections and violation remedies at businesses run or connected to the trio."
Ulrich in return, according to Bragg, received money that he gambled.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D), for whom Ulrich worked until November, is mentioned throughout the indictment, as it is alleged that Ulrich used his position in Adams' administration to continue such behavior. Reports, however, emphasize the fact that Adams is not implicated in any way in Bragg's indictment of Ulrich and the others.
Ulrich has been charged with conspiracy, bribe receiving, and offering a false instrument for filing.
He turned himself in to the authorities on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
In his first court appearance, Ulrich pleaded not guilty to the various charges that Bragg has brought against him.
Ulrich's attorney, Sam Braverman, put out a statement, saying:
Throughout the process, Mr. Ulrich has maintained his innocence, and today’s proceedings do nothing to change that. His integrity remains intact. When thousands of phone calls and documents are cherry picked and cut into small bits, and then viewed with eyes biased towards guilt, anyone can be made to look bad.
Ulrich's next scheduled court appearance is Oct. 23, 2023.