Posted on: September 4, 2023, 11:06h.
Last updated on: September 4, 2023, 12:18h.
Embattled ex-New York City councilmember Eric Ulrich has written a children’s book while he awaits the unsealing of a probable federal criminal indictment against him.
Ulrich resigned from his position as Department of Buildings commissioner on November 3, 2022, two days after the FBI seized his phone pursuant to a search warrant.
The New York Times reported in July that the Republican had been charged with corruption. The indictment is expected to be unsealed imminently, according to sources who spoke to The New York Post this past weekend.
The charges are related to Ulrich’s alleged acceptance of a discounted apartment rental and a couch. Both came from a real-estate developer who wanted to do business with the city, according to local media sources. Investigators have also been probing alleged links to organized crime connected to illegal gambling.
If Pets Could Vote…
In the meantime, Ulrich has been busy. “If Pets Could Vote …” is a book aimed at three to eight-year-olds, self-published by the former career politician last week. And it seems the imminent indictment has been playing on his mind.
The book imagines a world where dogs act as the judge and jury in court cases.
“How cute would it be to see 12 little fluffy canines sitting in the court room? Surely, they would give shelter dogs a second chance,” Ulrich wrote.
The book also features a parakeet president that Ulrich writes would “pardon all her feathered friends and set them free from their cages.”
“Birds don’t belong in cages. God gave them wings to fly,” he elaborated to Politico Friday.
What may sound like literary wish-fulfilment related to his likely upcoming legal predicament is in fact about “humane treatment of animals,” Ulrich explained.
Chameleon City Councilor
But he was prepared to admit that at least some of it was a thinly veiled attack on his perceived persecutors, such as the chameleon city councilor that “can wiggle its way out of anything and change colors to match [its] surroundings.”
That was a dig for sure,” he told Politico. “That had less to do with the humane treatment of animals and more about my former colleagues.”
Ulrich is also annoyed about how the Manhattan DA’s office has “decided to let this play out in the press,” describing the flurry of leaks about the investigation as “extremely unprofessional.”
The federal investigation reportedly partly focused on a Queens businessman named Joseph Livreri. His Ozone Park pizzeria, Aldo’s, allegedly served as a front for an illegal gambling operation. The New York Daily News claims Livreri has “an alleged history of Mob ties.”
Livreri also allegedly ran unlicensed card games and gambling machines out of his 101 Café in Ozone Park.
Ulrich reportedly told investigators he stopped visiting Livreri’s gambling dens in 2021. The ex-pol has been open about past drinking and gambling problems.