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Scandal-battered Met Council cleared for state funding

JTA

December 20, 2013 | 10:28 am

The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty will be able to continue receiving New York State funds in the wake of the scandal that has seen its former CEO charged with stealing millions from the charity.

The New York State attorney general and comptroller announced Thursday that they had reached an agreement with the Met Council, a leading Jewish social services agency. The agreement, which coincides with two parallel agreements reached with city agencies, provides “assurance that Met Council is implementing critical reforms to prevent the misuse of public funds,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a press release.

Among the reforms the council agreed to are implementing enhanced governance and personnel policies, hiring a general counsel and chief compliance officer, engaging a new outside auditor, appointing at least two new independent board members to be approved by state and city officials, and training board members and key personnel yearly in ethics and nonprofit compliance.

The agreement notes that Met Council’s board has already conducted its own investigation and replaced certain senior management.

The agreement comes a week after New York State’s attorney general announced that one of former Met Council CEO William Rapfogel’s alleged co-conspirators pleaded guilty to grand larceny, money laundering and tax fraud.

Joseph Ross, who pleaded guilty last week, was the owner of Century Coverage, a Long Island insurance company that submitted inflated bills to the Met Council, allegedly sharing the extra money with Rapfogel and using some of it for campaign contributions to elected officials. Rapfogel, who had headed Met Council for more than 20 years, was fired from his post in August and arrested in September.

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