In 2018, the Manhattan district attorney’s office charged Mr. Mazzio and two of his brothers, Salvatore and Angelo, with participating in a violent and illegal towing monopoly. That case is still pending. Law enforcement officials at two separate agencies have asserted that the three brothers and the Livreris have connections to the Gambino crime family.
A lawyer for Mr. Caller, Benjamin Brafman, said there was “no connection whatsoever between Mr. Caller and any of the allegations of organized crime, and I would be shocked if the district attorney suggested otherwise.”
Mr. Brafman said the only allegation against his client relates to the developer’s apartment where Mr. Ulrich still lives. “As I have said previously, it was rented by Mr. Ulrich at market rate well before he became buildings commissioner.”
Mr. Ulrich has had his own connection to the Gambino family, court papers show. In 2014, when he was a Republican City Council member representing the Queens district that includes Ozone Park and Howard Beach, he used his official stationery to ask a federal judge for leniency in the sentencing of a Gambino soldier, William M. Pazienza.
Mr. Pazienza, known as Old Man Willy, had pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in a scheme to recruit women from Eastern Europe to work as dancers at mob-controlled New York strip clubs. His criminal history traced to 1977 and included arrests for promoting prostitution and weapons possession, city records show.