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NYC suspends millions in funding to Met Council

NEW YORK (JTA) — New York City reportedly has suspended all funding to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty following the firing of its longtime CEO over alleged financial misdeeds.

“All pending awards have been put on hold until an investigation by [the New York Department of Investigation] is completed,” said mayoral spokesman Kamran Mumtaz, according to a report in the New York Post.

Unnamed sources quoted in the Post report say the move is holding up millions of dollars in payments from pending city contracts. The bulk of the organization’s revenue comes from federal, state and city funding.

The council’s CEO, William Rapfogel, was fired last week after an internal probe discovered “financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization’s insurance policies,” the organization said Monday in a statement.

Rapfogel, 58, allegedly inflated insurance bills and pocketed the overcharges for himself.

The social service agency, which provides employment services, crisis intervention, emergency food and other programs for poor Jewish households, said in the statement that it would “work diligently to appoint a replacement as quickly as possible.”

Rapfogel in a statement made through his lawyers said, “I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that led to my departure from the organization.”

Rapfogel’s lawyer reportedly said that Rapfogel’s wife, Judy, and her boss, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, were unaware of the scheme.

In a statement on Friday, the Met Council said, “We are gratified by the support we have received from political leaders and many of our donors and partners, as well as their recognition of the important work we do every day to serve thousands of New Yorkers in need.

“We have been in contact with the government agencies responsible for awarding our grants and are committed to addressing any concerns. We will continue to work with them to ensure that our vital services are provided without disruption.”

 

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