New York

Former Buildings Commissioner Surrenders to Face Bribery Charges

The former commissioner of New York City’s buildings department surrendered to the Manhattan district attorney’s office early Wednesday morning to face bribery charges along with several other defendants.

The former commissioner, Eric Ulrich, is expected to be arraigned later in the day, according to people with knowledge of the matter. They said there would be four other defendants, two of whom donated generously to the 2021 campaign of Mayor Eric Adams and two others who helped raise funds for him.

Mr. Ulrich, who also was a fund-raiser for Mr. Adams, served as his senior adviser and was appointed to head the Buildings Department in May 2022.

Six months later, Mr. Ulrich resigned when news of the investigation by the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, was reported. He was expected to be charged with bribery-related crimes, and the other defendants were expected to be accused of seeking favors from him, according to the people with knowledge of the matter.

Mr. Ulrich surrendered at the district attorney’s office in Lower Manhattan shortly after 7 a.m. He was accompanied by his lawyer, Samuel M. Braverman, and was carrying a copy of Bill O’Reilly’s book, “Killing Jesus: A History.”

Mr. Ulrich was expected to be charged along with Mark Caller, a Brooklyn real estate developer whom prosecutors will accuse of having offered Mr. Ulrich a discounted luxury apartment. Also expected to face charges are Joseph and Anthony Livreri, brothers who own a Queens pizzeria, and Michael Mazzio, who operates a Brooklyn towing company.

Law enforcement officials have identified Mr. Mazzio and the Livreri brothers as having connections to organized crime, and prosecutors had sought to find out more about Mr. Ulrich’s relationship with organized-crime figures.

The district attorney’s office would not comment on the charges Tuesday evening but said that Mr. Bragg would make an announcement at a 1 p.m. news conference with Jocelyn Strauber, the head of the city Department of Investigation.

A lawyer for Mr. Caller, Benjamin Brafman, said his client “intends to plead not guilty and fully expects to be exonerated.”

James R. Froccaro, Mr. Mazzio’s lawyer, said the tow company operator would enter a plea of not guilty, adding, “He’s innocent.”

Mr. Ulrich’s lawyer, Mr. Braverman, referred to a statement he had made previously that noted he would not respond to any allegations before seeing the charges.

A lawyer for the Livreris could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Adams is not expected to be charged, but the investigation has put him in an uncomfortable position, given his appointment of Mr. Ulrich. His name has repeatedly surfaced in connection with the inquiry.

Mr. Ulrich, the Livreri brothers and Mr. Mazzio were hosts of an August 2021 fund-raiser on behalf of Mr. Adams.

Mr. Ulrich said that Mr. Adams had warned him of the investigation, which the mayor has denied doing. And Mr. Adams was among those whose conversations were wiretapped by investigators.

A spokesman for the mayor said in a statement that Mr. Adams would “allow this investigation to run its course and will continue to assist the D.A. in any way needed.”

The statement said, as City Hall has maintained for weeks, that Mr. Adams “has not received any requests from the Manhattan D.A. surrounding this matter and has never spoken to Mr. Ulrich about this investigation.”

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