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Former Buildings Chief Accused of Trading Favors for $150,000 in Bribes

The New York Times

  • September 13, 2023

Eric Ulrich rose through the ranks of city government with modest momentum, first elected as a city councilman before Mayor Eric Adams appointed him a senior adviser and, finally, his commissioner of the Department of Buildings.

At each stop, prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office said on Wednesday, he used his positions to benefit friends and associates, and harvested more than $150,000 for himself. They said he reaped New York Mets season tickets, a custom suit, a painting by an apprentice of Salvador Dalí and cash for gambling.

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Mr. Ulrich’s lawyer, Samuel M. Braverman, said in a statement after the arraignment that his client maintained his innocence and that “today’s proceedings do nothing to change that — his integrity remains intact.”

“When thousands of phone calls and documents are cherry-picked and cut into small bits, and then viewed with eyes biased toward guilt, anyone can be made to look bad,” he added. “Mr. Ulrich unequivocally denies these charges and looks forward to his day in court where only the evidence matters, not charging documents or press releases.”

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