Future of Met Council in Doubt After CEO Charged With Stealing

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The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty has been around since 1972, but a financial scandal could prove devastating for the charity.  

Former CEO William Rapfogel was charged this week with stealing more than 5 million dollars from the organization he led for 21 years. Prosecutors say he then illegally funneled most of that money to  political candidates and organizations.

The Met Council is one of New York's most prominent and distinguished charities, and that was largely due to Rapfogel's connections to the city's political elite, including one of his oldest friends, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Rapfogel was able to raise millions from city, state and federal agencies, said Josh Nathan-Kazis, a staff writer with the Jewish Daily Forward.

"Aside from the question ... of how the organization is going to recover and whether donors, philanthropic donors and political donors and the government will trust the organization again, the problem now is just not having Rapfogel's contacts in city and state government," Nathan-Kazis said. 

To hear the full interview with Josh Nathan-Kazis, click the audio above.