Calls between Adams and ex-Buildings boss Ulrich intercepted in bribery investigation
Responding to a report Tuesday that phone calls between Mayor Adams and his indicted former Buildings boss Eric Ulrich were intercepted in a sweeping bribery investigation, City Hall said the mayor has received no requests from prosecutors for any information in the case.
Adams is among those whose calls with Ulrich were intercepted by the Manhattan district attorney in their probe into the ex-Department of Buildings Commissioner, according to reporting in the New York Times.
The mayor has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing in the investigation nor is it inherently surprising that Adams would be speaking with his buildings commissioner on the phone. The Times reported that he was not considered a person of interest.
“As we have previously stated, we will allow this investigation to run its course and will continue to assist the DA in any way needed.” a spokesperson for the mayor said. “And, while we do not discuss private conversations, to avoid speculation, the mayor has not received any requests from the Manhattan DA surrounding this matter and has never spoken to Mr. Ulrich about this investigation.”
Last month, The News reported that sources said Ulrich told prosecutors he learned from Adams he was under investigation months before the probe became public in May 2022, when the mayor told him to “watch your back and watch your phones.”
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Adams denies the encounter.
Ulrich was charged in a sealed indictment last month and is expected to appear in court to enter a plea in September. Investigators seized his phone seven months after his appointment last November as Adams’ Buildings commissioner.
Ulrich’s landlord, Mark Caller, is among those expected to face bribery-related charges for allegedly renting him a discount apartment. Caller’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, previously denied Ulrich got a discount from the developer, who’s had business before the city. He could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
According to The Times, one of Ulrich’s former aides in the City Council and gambling associate, Joseph Livreri, is also expected to face charges, along with his brother, Anthony. The brothers own Aldo’s in Ozone Park, a pizzeria that was reportedly linked to the investigation.
The News reported last month that Joseph Livreri, hired as a constituent services staffer in 2019 by then-Republican Councilman Ulrich, was fired amid the Manhattan district attorney’s illegal gambling investigation in July. His lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Ulrich’s attorney, Sam Braverman, has declined to comment on the charges pending their unsealing.
The Manhattan DA’s office declined to comment.