In the wake of Wednesday’s reports that the top official in the New York City government is under criminal investigation, Mayor Adams did not completely rule out the possibility of dismissing his Department of Buildings commissioner.
The Buildings CEO, Eric Ulrich, was questioned by detectives from the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Tuesday, and his smartphone was taken as part of the investigation, which sources claim focuses on illicit gambling.
Adams told reporters Wednesday morning that it is “early” to say whether Ulrich should be fired over the situation, but he did not wholly rule out the possibility.
This was his first public statement since word of the investigation leaked.
“We’re going to take it as the days go,” Adams said.
He continued, “The DA’s office is going to perform their review, and that evaluation will determine how we move ahead,” at a later press conference at City Hall.
Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, is conducting an investigation; it is unclear whether Ulrich is the primary target of his inquiry.
Republican Ulrich, who spent 12 years on the City Council before joining Adams’ administration, is a frequent gambler.
According to data from the local Conflicts of Interest Board, he earned tens of thousands of dollars from gambling while serving on the Council and disclosed winning over $50,000 in lottery payouts on his annual financial disclosure form this year.
After Adams’ press conference, a Bragg spokesperson declined to comment.
Ulrich was unavailable for comment.
According to Fabien Levy, a representative for Adams, the commissioner missed work on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Buildings Department because he took “personal days” in the midst of the DA controversy.