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Met Council agrees to reforms after bribery case

ALBANY -- The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty has agreed to reform its internal controls in the wake of a bribery scheme allegedly involving its former executive director, state officials announced Thursday.

The influential charity agreed to hire a new general counsel and a new compliance officer, revamp its auditing practices and appoint at least two independent directors to its board, among other changes, as part of an agreement with state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, their offices announced.

The agreement will remove a freeze on the flow of state funds to the Met Council imposed after former executive director William Rapfogel was indicted on larceny and money laundering charges.

Rapfogel's wife, Judy, is the longtime chief of staff to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan). William Rapfogel and Silver have known each other for more than 40 years -- since Silver was his youth basketball coach.

Rapfogel, who has pleaded not guilty, allegedly conspired with others for more than 20 years to overcharge for insurance policies that Century Coverage Corp. of Valley Stream obtained for Met Council and pocketing the difference between the inflated price and the actual price. Prosecutors had claimed Rapfogel had received more than $1 million.

Another figure in the alleged conspiracy pleaded guilty earlier this month.

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