Daily News: Speaker Silver Allowed His Close Friend to Steal Millions From Non-Profit

The man who has overseen some of the worst abuses of power in New York Government, Sheldon Silver, finds himself “stunned” to hear of the latest corruption allegations coming out of Albany.

The recently revealed criminal investigation involves the husband of Silver’s chief-of-staff, an organization that receives millions in taxpayer dollars, and an elaborate money-laundering scheme.

To summarize, internal investigations have revealed instances of “misconduct” and “irregularities.”

Rest assured however, that the man who has paid off multiple victims of sexual harassment over the years, turning the Assembly into the “most sexually abusive workplace in the nation”, the man who has watched multiple Democrat members of his Assembly arrested on corruption charges, Sheldon Silver, is “stunned” by these new revelations.


The New York Post reported:

The man under investigation is William Rapfogel, who was fired last week as executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. The organization relies for a good chunk of its money on government grants, much of which has been provided by Silver and his allies via member items. Oh, did we mention that Rapfogel is married to Silver’s chief of staff?

Rapfogel allegedly engaged in a money-laundering scam in which Met funds were used to buy insurance policies from Century Coverage at inflated prices. The allegation is that the excess amounts were either kicked back to Rapfogel or channeled by insurance officials into political contributions.

Met Council said only that an internal probe uncovered unspecified “financial irregularities and misconduct.” Rapfogel, who has not disputed the allegations, has apologized for “the mistakes I have made.” He also vowed to “make amends.”

Over the years, Rapfogel used his political connections to build Met Council into a social-service empire. The council has received $16.5 million in state funds and another $10 million from the City Council since 2009. Those contacts go well beyond Shelly Silver, who says he was “stunned” by the news; Met Council’s annual legislative breakfast is a must-attend for local elected officials.

You know who isn’t stunned?  The Daily News, which is reporting that Silver not only knew about the thievery, but enabled it to happen.

Via Daily News:

There is virtually no doubt that one of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s closest friends looted millions of dollars from a prominent taxpayer-funded not-for-profit organization — and there is no doubt that Silver enabled the ripoff.

Silver’s relationship with William Rapfogel, longtime leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, is one more damning reason why Assembly Democrats must dump Silver from the speakership. So, too, is Silver’s loyalty to Rapfogel’s wife Judy, who serves as Silver’s chief of staff.

Rapfogel has all but admitted guilt. According to prosecutors, he siphoned $5 million out of the Council over 20 years, using much of the money for illicit contributions to politicians who funded the group and keeping $1 million for himself and his family.

Authorities recovered a total of $400,000 in cash — some of it stashed in the bedroom closet of the Rapfogels’ Lower East Side co-op — and discovered that he gave their son $100,000 to buy a house. Mrs. Rapfogel pleads ignorance to the presence of what must have been bricks of cash among her husband’s neckwear. For perspective, $400,000 equates to 4,000 $100 bills.

While Silver appears willing to take his old friend at her word, few others will be so accepting. The result is that that Silver and his top staff have again debased the public’s trust in the Legislature.

Silver is a past master of tolerating abuses in his inner circle.

Silver has a long history of turning a blind eye to criminal activity amongst his friends and staff.  His loyalty to criminals such as Michael Boxley, counsel who was hauled off in handcuffs on a second sexual assault charge that followed rape accusations, to serial sexual molesters such as Vito Lopez, and his loyalty to numerous other corrupt pols in New York state, is astounding.

Silver serves as the sun in a solar system of corruption.  He must go.

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