The head of the city’s Department of Buildings resigned on Thursday, days after his phone was reportedly seized as part of an illegal gambling investigation.
DOB Commissioner Eric Ulrich submitted his resignation Thursday morning, Mayor Eric Adams’ press secretary, Fabien Levy, said in a statement.
Ulrich resigned, “in his words, to avoid ‘unnecessary distraction for the Adams administration,’” Levy said.
What You Need To Know
- New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich submitted his resignation Thursday morning, Mayor Eric Adams’ press secretary, Fabien Levy, said in a statement
- Ulrich resigned days after his phone was reportedly seized as part of an illegal gambling investigation
- The DOB’s first deputy commissioner, Kazimir Vilenchik, will serve as the agency’s acting commissioner moving forward, Levy said
“We have accepted his resignation, appreciate him taking this step, and wish him well,” Levy said. “We have no further knowledge of any investigation and, out of respect for his and his family’s privacy, have nothing further to add.”
The statement did not specifically mention the allegations against Ulrich, as reported by the New York Times, the Daily News and other outlets.
The DOB’s first deputy commissioner, Kazimir Vilenchik, will serve as the agency’s acting commissioner moving forward, Levy added, while noting that “no city services will be impacted.”
Levy’s announcement came two days after the Times reported that the Manhattan district attorney’s office was investigating Ulrich for alleged illegal gambling. Investigators reportedly confiscated Ulrich’s phone outside his home in Queens as part of the probe.
Adams appointed Ulrich — who previously served as a City Council member — to the DOB's top position in May.
At an unrelated news conference on Thursday, the mayor said Ulrich chose to step down “for the good of not distracting the city, and to deal with the review that’s taking place now.”
“He made that decision. I respect that decision, and for his family, and for the commissioner. We wish him well [as he goes] through this review,” Adams said.
Asked about the reported allegations, Adams said he had not been briefed on them.
“I don’t, you know, I do not take reports that are in the media as what actually took place. I have not heard from the reviewing body,” he said. “They have not communicated to me, so I don’t know what the allegations are.”
“You know, because people print it or rumor it, those things, I don’t know,” he added. “Until we hear from the reviewing body, I would allow the reviewing body to do their job, which is part of the system we’re in.”