Several hosts of a high-profile fundraiser for Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, are now under scrutiny in a bribery and organized crime investigation conducted by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. At least four hosts, including city councilman Eric Ulrich, who was later appointed as buildings commissioner by Adams, are expected to face charges. The investigation, which involved wiretapping Ulrich’s cellphone, is set to announce charges against at least five individuals next month. The hosts of the fundraiser, Anthony and Joseph Livreri, who own a Queens pizzeria, and Michael Mazzio, a towing-company operator, are also facing indictment. Ulrich and the Livreri brothers have been previously linked to organized crime.
Eric Adams, although not expected to be charged, was recorded in conversations intercepted during the investigation. However, there is no indication that his conversations implicated him in any criminal conduct. Adams’ tendency to surround himself with individuals tainted by ethical lapses and accusations of criminal conduct has raised questions about his judgment and the nature of his relationship with the fundraiser hosts.
Adams’ deputy mayor for communications, Fabien Levy, stated that the mayor intends to cooperate with the investigation and has not received any requests from the Manhattan district attorney regarding the matter. The district attorney’s office declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Ulrich, along with the other hosts, including Brooklyn developer Mark Caller, is expected to be arraigned next month. Ulrich has been accused of accepting a discounted apartment from Caller while still in charge of the Buildings Department. Additional charges related to organized crime are anticipated, although the specific nature of the conduct in question remains unclear.
It is worth noting that Ulrich had previously used his official stationery to request leniency for a member of the Gambino crime family in 2014. The individual, William M. Pazienza, had pleaded guilty to racketeering charges related to a scheme involving mob-controlled strip clubs.