Eric Ulrich, who resigned last week as commissioner of the Adams Buildings Department after being questioned by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in connection with a gambling investigation, said a government job to the co-owner of the Queens pizzeria linked to the investigation, according to city records. .
As a member of the city council, Ulrich hired Joseph Livreri as an assistant in 2019, at a salary of $26,000 per year.
Livreri remains employed in the same role in the office of Ulrich’s successor, City Council member Joann Ariola (R-Queens). He is one of four employees who worked for Ulrich, then Ariola, and works part-time, Ariola told THE CITY. She said she consulted with the council’s human resources department and its legal team when news broke about Aldo’s Ozone Park.
“We follow their advice,” Ariola told THE CITY. Livreri owns the Italian restaurant with his brother Anthony.
Livreri handles voter services and other office responsibilities like setting up events, according to an Ariola aide, with a current salary of $22,000. Livreri has received additional payments varying between $3,000 and $5,000 annually over the past three years.
Ariola and Ulrich both attended the 2018 reopening of Aldo’s under the Livreri brothers as new owners. The New York Times reported that the investigation led by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg involves possible illegal gambling and mob ties at the Ozone Park restaurant, which under previous owners had known ties to crime. organized.
Ulrich, appointed by Adams in May to head the New York City Buildings Department, left a trail of documents linking him to gambling and local mob figures.
On his City Council Financial Disclosure Forms from 2016 to 2021, Ulrich claimed between $5,000 and $47,999 in annual income from what he described as New York Lottery winnings — and that he owed the same approximate amount of debt to the Knights of Columbus in a loan he obtained to “consolidate personal debt.”
And in 2018, Ulrich wrote a glowing letter about Council stationery on behalf of Robert Pisani, who was facing conviction after pleading guilty to federal gambling charges.
Federal prosecutors had identified Pisani as an associate of the Bonanno crime family, but Ulrich called him a “kind person, devoted family man, and selfless individual” as well as a “personal friend.”
Livreri – who has not been charged with any wrongdoing – did not respond to a text message and phone call seeking comment.
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