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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Head of Met Council Steps Down, Apologizes for Mistakes

“I pray that my family and friends and all who care about Met Council can find it in their heart to forgive me for my actions."
William E. Rapfogel

William E. Rapfogel

William E. Rapfogel, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) since 1992, has been fired from his job and is under investigation for alleged financial wrongdoing, the NY Times reported.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, and comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, are now investigating Mr. Rapfogel as part of a new anti-corruption task force.

In a statement released by his lawyer, Rapfogel apologized for unspecified mistakes.

“After 21 years at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that have led to my departure from the organization,” he said. “I apologize to our dedicated officers and board, our incredible staff and those who depend on Met Council. I let them all down.”

Rapfogel also said: “I pray that my family and friends and all who care about Met Council can find it in their heart to forgive me for my actions. I will do everything possible to make amends.”

Met Council released the following statement:

“The Board of Directors of Met Council recently became aware of specific information regarding financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization’s insurance policies. The Board retained outside counsel to conduct a full investigation. Based on that investigation, which is ongoing, the Board has terminated Mr. Rapfogel, effective immediately, and notified the proper authority. To date, the investigation has not revealed evidence that any current employees of Met Council engaged in any wrongdoing.

“The Board takes these matters very seriously. For over forty years, Met Council has been a respected leader as one of New York City’s largest human services agencies, providing assistance to over 100,000 New Yorkers each year in their fight against poverty. The Board is committed to ensuring Met Council’s operations are conducted with integrity and that they uphold our highest values.

“The Board has embarked upon a search to identify a new CEO and will work diligently to appoint a replacement as quickly as possible. In the meantime, there should be no disruption to Met Council’s day-to-day operations. The Board has the utmost confidence in the talent and dedication of the current executive staff, which will continue to manage the organization’s various programs that provide food, shelter and care to thousands of New Yorkers in need.”

In 2011, the Met Council paid Mr. Rapfogel $340,089 in direct compensation, plus $77,202 in “other compensation,” according to a tax document filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the Times reported.

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2 Responses to “Head of Met Council Steps Down, Apologizes for Mistakes”

  1. William Kohn says:

    The grossly inflated salaries and over generous fringe benefits paid to so many of the executives of Jewish not-for-profit institutions and social agencies (together with the opportunity to abuse those benefits) have often been the topic of quiet discussion among informed Jewish laypersons. However, many have been reluctant to discuss this issue openly or criticize any particular individual or institution. Perhaps this matter will allow the Forward and other like minded entities and individual to force back the curtain that has too long protected the CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives of so many of the not-for-profits that are designed to serve the populace, but too often serve the narrow purposes of enriching and enhancing the well-being of those executives andtheir families.

  2. The Board should go too!

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Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.

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