Former NYC Official Charged With Accepting Perks in Exchange for Access

Written By Dan Holmes on September 18, 2023
former buildings commisioner eric ulrich walks into supreme court

The former top building-safety official in New York City is under arrest on charges that he accepted bribes, including Mets tickets and reduced rent on a luxury apartment in return for grating access to officials of the city government.

Eric Ulrich – the former Buildings Commissioner under Mayor Eric Adams – allegedly accepted gifts, perks and cash totaling $150,000 over a two-year period, the indictment says.

There may have been a gambling tie to it all: Ulrich is accused of using some of his illegitimate gains at illegal and legal NY casinos.

Indictment: Ulrich abused his authority for perks

According to an indictment, Ulrich gave access to NYC officials, including Mayor Adams, to as many as five different people.

Those defendants were also charged in this scheme that has been investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney, the NY State Police and the FBI.

The indictment, which caused Ulrich to surrender himself to authorities last week, states that he abused his authority in several government jobs, including as:

  • New York City Councilmember
  • Senior Advisor to the Mayor of New York City
  • NYC Department of Buildings Commissioner

State in midst of downstate NY casino bids

The timing of a widespread and ugly corruption scandal like the Ulrich affair couldn’t be worse for city and state officials sifting through downstate casino license applications.

There does not appear to be a connection between Ulrich’s alleged illegal activities in his former capacity with the city and lobbying for casinos in New York.

Ulrich resigned his position last November, with a cloud hanging over him as he was being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for connections to illegal gambling and organized crime. He had only been the Buildings Commissioner for six months under Mayor Adams, a Democrat. Ulrich is a Republican.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg claimed that Ulrich “took advantage of his taxpayer-funded positions to line his own pockets.”

It’s alleged that Ulrich received season tickets to the Mets as well as a prime rental deal on a summer home in The Rockaways. He also secured a job for a close friend in NYC government and assisted cronies in acquiring liquor licenses. The indictment says Ulrich spent money at an underground gambling facility in Manhattan, a location that was eventually raided by police.

Photo by Mary Altaffer / AP Photo
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a freelance writer for PlayNY. An author of three books about sports, he previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Dan enjoys writing, running and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.

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