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Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich has phone seized as part of illegal gambling probe: report

City Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich
Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich is under investigation by the Manhattan DA for illegal gambling.
Emil Cohen/NYC Council

New York City Building Commissioner Eric Ulrich is reportedly involved in an ongoing criminal investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg centered around illegal gambling.

The commissioner was served a search warrant by investigators near his Rockaway Park home on Tuesday and had his phone seized by the g-men, the New York Times reported.

Ulrich, 37, represented southeastern Queens and the Rockaway Peninsula in the City Council as a Republican between 2009 and 2021. Never quite the conservative firebrand as some of his GOP colleagues, Ulrich supported Eric Adams during his campaign for the mayoralty; he entered 2022 as a senior advisor to the mayor before Adams named buildings commissioner in May.

As commissioner, he heads an agency with hundreds of employees tasked with enforcing the building code, issuing permits, and conducting inspections, among other things.

It’s not entirely clear what kind of gambling activity Ulrich is under investigation for, or if it’s part of a larger probe, though the Times noted it concerns actions predating the Adams administration. The commissioner has not been charged with a crime.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan DA’s office, Danielle Filson, declined to comment on the Times report.

Between 2016 and 2021, Ulrich’s financial disclosure forms required as a Councilmember, declared he had annually earned between $5,000 and $49,999 from gambling on the New York Lottery.

Ulrich did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. DOB spokesperson Andrew Rudansky directed amNewYork Metro’s inquiry to City Hall, which declared they were unaware of any investigation into Ulrich.

“Our administration has no knowledge of any type of investigation,” said City Hall spokesperson Fabien Levy. “If an investigation were to be conducted, we would expect any member of this administration to cooperate fully.”

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