Judy Rapfogel, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff, is the subject of two news stories today concerning the investigation of her husband, the former head of the Met Council on Jewish Poverty.
William Rapfogel is accused of orchestrating a scheme, spanning 20 years, to pad payments to Century Coverage Corp. (an insurance firm). A criminal complaint alleges that he received more than $1 million over the years in kickbacks. Throughout the controversy, Judy Rapfogel has indicated she knew nothing about her husband’s alleged financial malfeasance.
Today’s New York Times, takes a look at paymenets made to Century 16 years ago, when Judy Rapfogel ran for City Council:
… among the various campaign expenditures for the Council candidate, Judy Rapfogel, was a disproportionate sum spent on a seemingly peripheral need: automobile insurance. The insurance payments accounted for 6 percent of the campaign’s spending, and cost more than double what the campaign spent to lease the vehicles themselves… A spokesman for Mr. Silver said last week that Ms. Rapfogel was also not aware that her 1997 campaign had paid Century. “This was 16 years ago, and even then Judy’s focus was on asking people for their votes, not the office paperwork,” said the spokesman, Stu Loeser. The treasurer for Ms. Rapfogel’s campaign, Freda Fried, did not return calls or e-mails. Ms. Fried is Mr. Rapfogel’s sister… Ms. Rapfogel’s campaign paid $8,008 to Century to insure what appear to be two vehicles that were leased for $3,100.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s long-time chief of staff has hired a lawyer in connection with her husband’s criminal case, the Daily News has learned. Judy Rapfogel was recently interviewed by investigators of the state Attorney General’s Office about what she knew about former Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William Rapfogel’s alleged $5 million kickback scheme, sources said. Those close to her say Rapfogel had been completely unaware of her husband’s activities and those familiar with the case say there is no evidence at this point to the contrary. Judy Rapfogel, through a representative, declined comment. So did a spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
On Friday, Silver told the News, “I haven’t spoken to (William Rapfogel) since I read his public statement (in August following Rapfogel’s firing)… Personally, I think it’s a tragedy, but I believe in the judicial process and the judicial process will ultimately prove what’s available.”