Jeffrey Epstein, the Deal of a Lifetime and the Victims who were Never Vindicated, Revisited

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Vinny Parco- Brooklyn and Claims of Currying Favors with the Satmar

TV private eye Vinny Parco wants to move criminal case out of Brooklyn

Vinny Parco’s lawyer claims the “Parco P.I.” star’s arrest was “timed as a thank-you gift to the Orthodox/Hasidic community.” (Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News)

TV private eye Vinny Parco wants to move criminal case out of Brooklyn

Attorneys for an ex-reality-TV private investigator accused of trying to keep a woman from testifying against an Orthodox client of his charged with sexually assaulting her when she was 12 wants his court case moved from Brooklyn, claiming the Hasidic community has sway over justice in Kings County, the Daily News has learned.

Vinny Parco’s attorney Peter Gleason filed a change of venue motion Saturday and plans to bring it up in court Monday.

“It will be impossible for Mr. Parco to receive a fair trial [in Brooklyn],” Gleason wrote in court papers, citing an instance in which he said Parco had a run-in with the Orthodox community in Williamsburg while investigating community center owners who allegedly blocked an FDNY inspection.

According to court papers, when Parco, one-time star of the Court TV show “Parco P.I.,” tried to investigate the incident, men in Hasidic garb threatened to assault him and have him arrested, saying, “We know who you are and we have friends in the Kings County district attorney’s office.”

Parco, 67, is charged with promoting prostitution and unlawful surveillance for allegedly trying to blackmail the male relative of an Orthodox woman to keep her from testifying in a child sex abuse case against his client, Samuel Israel.

Accused co-conspirator Tanya Freudenthaler allegedly lured the man to a Sunset Park hotel in December 2016, where he was secretly recorded having sex with prostitutes she hired, prosecutors said.

Investigators accused Parco of trying to blackmail the man with the video. They said he accepted $17,000 from Israel, who is also Orthodox, to mastermind the hotel encounter.

Prosecutors said Israel concocted the plan with Parco because he didn’t want jurors in his trial to know that his alleged victim was only 12 years old when he sexually abused her in March 2016.

Israel pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sex act in the sex abuse case in December and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Gleason has claimed in prior court filings that Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez lodged charges against Parco to “thank” the Jewish community after winning the Democratic primary in 2017.

“Mr. Parco is a seasoned investigator who upon information and belief is being targeted to curry favor with the Satmar/Orthodox community, and among other things in retribution for his many previous investigations regarding the Satmar/Orthodox community,” Gleason charged in a recent court filing.

To continue reading the article in its entirety click here.

Daily News, Is Brooklyn Court System Rigged Against Non-Hasidic Litigants?

To our dedicated readers:

We have the same question alleged by the subject of the Daily News Article attached hereto. We are simply posting a screenshot. We note that the case is apparently not sealed.

We cannot speak to the validity or the allegations or charges, this is simply a repost, with the sole purpose of asking the same question.

If you are not Hasidic, can you get a fair trial in Brooklyn?

Tainted Brklyn Courts

Rabbi Howard Katz Left Bloody and the Alleged Perpetrators Still at Large and What is with the Pell Grant Office?

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Rabbi Howard Katz says he was left bloody and battered after two men unjustifiably attacked him in a friend’s Crown Heights office on Feb. 2, 2016 (Noah Goldberg / New York Daily News)

Rowdy rabbi rumble still resonates with victim after years without arrest

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-pol-lubavitcher-assault-rabbi-brooklyn-district-attorney-20190201-story.html

A rowdy rabbi rumble that erupted in a Brooklyn yeshiva office has yet to be properly investigated years after the fact, according to the victim of the fracas, who claims cops refuse to make an arrest because of politics.

Rabbi Howard Katz says he was left bloody and battered after two men unjustifiably attacked him in a friend’s Crown Heights office on Feb. 2, 2016, l because they took umbrage at his impertinence and his use of the word “freaking.”

“It was an obvious assault,” Katz said. “They (the NYPD) played around for months and then did not arrest the perps.”

The kosher chaos unfolded at 760 Eastern Parkway, right next door to Lubavitcher headquarters, where the rabbi says he went to fetch some paperwork.

Katz admits he may have been a bit of nudnik — persistently ringing the doorbell, frustrated that he couldn’t get in.

After his first several attempts failed, he found his friend Moshe Glukowsky, who runs the Pell Grant program at the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva out of that office, to let him in.

Surveillance video recorded in the office shows the smackdown unfolding.

The two men accused in the attack — Elozor and Yosef Raichik, a father and son — can be seen watching as Glukowsky and Katz enter.

There’s no audio on the video, but Katz says he came in, took a sweet from the candy dish on a desk, and confronted the Raichiks about their hospitality.

“Why didn’t you open the freaking door?” Katz says he demanded of the two.

Yosef Raichik, 32, took issue with that and went meshuga.

“He said ‘freaking!’ He was shaking,” Katz said. “His right hand hits me and then he bumps me. Then he yells at me, ‘Don’t push me.’ ”

The recording shows the men nose-to-nose arguing.

Elozor Raichik, 64, belly-bumped Katz, prompting the rabbi to shove him back several feet.

That’s when the son came in like a Hebrew Hulk Hogan. Yosef Raichik grabbed Katz and slammed his face into the wall. Then he continued the attack, throwing Katz into a headlock and taking him down to the floor. Father and son tag-teamed the rabbi on the ground. Elozor held him down while Yosef appeared in the video to be trying to bend Katz’s fingers back.

“He (the son) grabs me and smashes me into a wall. I was stunned. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know what hit me. There was such a bang. They jumped on me. They put me down on the floor,” Katz said. “They’re bending my thumbs. They’re banging me in the back. The father was screaming to his son, ‘Bend his thumbs!’ ”

Katz’s nose was bloody and his glasses mangled. He called the police, who reviewed the video. But by then the Raichiks had scrammed.

The squabble only lasted a few seconds, but Katz says he hasn’t been able to get past it in the last three years.

Police investigation reports Katz obtained through the Freedom of Information Law show the cops made regular visits to the Raichiks’ Union St. home for about four months, but never found them.

When reached at their home, the Raichiks slammed the door in a Daily News reporter’s face.

Investigators brought the office video to the attention of the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, and together they concluded that no crime had been committed, the records show.

“After viewing video of the incident and after conferral with the district attorney’s office it was determined that no crime was committed and the case was closed,” an NYPD spokesman said.

Katz persisted, asking the Brooklyn DA to investigate the police handling of the case. But the DA’s office also decided that it was not its problem.

“We reviewed the incident and determined the police acted appropriately,” a spokesman for the DA said.

Katz said he believes authorities don’t want to make an arrest because it would alienate an important Brooklyn voting bloc.

Glukowsky was less emphatic.

“It did happen in my office. I was here. After the incident two officers from the 71st Precinct came to my office and viewed the entire incident on video. They came to their conclusions,” Glukowsky said. “I haven’t had any personal issue with them.”

He refused to take sides.

“I would tell you to look at the video carefully again and again and see who moved into other people’s space,” he said.

The grant administrator said his friend was exhaustive in his attempt to bring attention to the case.

“Let me tell you something, (Katz) went to the police,” Glukowsky said. “The police came in here. He subsequently went to police and he spoke to them more than once. He went through all the channels he could. I rely on the police for 40 years. Sometimes I’m happy with their decisions, sometimes I’m not that happy. Overall I would give them a passing grade in how they handle our community.”

Katz reported his case to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, as well as the FBI, to no avail.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

R&R Bad Cop Awards – a Friendship Gone Too Far, but Trophies Awarded

Bad cop awards! Top NYPD officers accepted ‘friendship’ trophies from accused bribers

Bad cop awards! Top NYPD officers accepted 'friendship' trophies from accused bribers

Ex-Deputy Inspector James (Jimmy) Grant accepted a “friendship award” from Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz. He is on trial for accepting bribes. (Court Documents)

Two men accused of bribing NYPD officers handed out awards to their special friends at a 2013 Jets game, testimony revealed Wednesday.

Jona Rechnitz, who has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and is cooperating with the government, said he and Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg, 44, handed out fancy crystal trophies in a private suite at MetLife Stadium during a big game against the New England Patriots.

Among the recipients during the Oct. 20, 2013 “ceremony” were ex-Deputy Inspector James (Jimmy) Grant, former Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and former Deputy Chief David Colon, photos shown in court revealed.

 

(Photo Left) Ex-NYPD Deputy Chief David Colon and former Deputy Chief Michael Harrington accept an award from Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz.
(Photo Left) Ex-NYPD Deputy Chief David Colon and former Deputy Chief Michael Harrington accept an award from Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz. (Court Documents)

“We gave him this crystal, said something about him and gave him this award,” Rechnitz, 35, said of Grant.

The trophies bearing a clear crystal football read “thank you for your friendship” and “Police Appreciation Day.”

 

Rechnitz said he covered the cost for the awards, suite and catered food.

 

Reichberg and Grant, 45, are on trial in Manhattan Federal Court for bribery.

 

Reichberg is accused of giving gifts like fancy meals, sports tickets and posh vacations to an array of officers.

 

Rechnitz said he and Reichberg treated Grant to those goodies, as well as a private flight to Las Vegas in 2013 with a prostitute.

 

The cop-corrupting duo ordered 18 awards, including ones for other cops who did not attend, Rechnitz said.

 

Some names that appeared on the trophies, like Inspector Tim Beaudette and Chief James Secreto, were of cops Rechnitz testified that he and Reichberg had hoped to cultivate.

 

But Secreto and Beaudette both rejected their attempts to draw them in, according to Rechnitz.

 

The name of then-Chief of Department Philip Banks.also appeared on a trophy, but he didn’t show up.

 

“Banks was annoyed,” Rechnitz said. “He said he wasn’t going to come if other cops were there. He didn’t want to be at those events. He thought it was inappropriate to be there.”

 

Banks’ brother, however, was at the game. A huge Cowboys fan, Banks’ bro received a trophy with his nickname, Jerry Jones, Rechnitz said.

 

Harrington was sentenced to two years’ probation for his role in the bribes-for-favors scandal. Colon resigned in 2016 after being linked to the scandal, though his union rep said at the time it was for “personal reasons.”

 

The feds consider Colon and Banks “unindicted coconspirators.”

 

Meanwhile, Rechnitz also shed new light on his relationship with Mayor de Blasio.

His testimony further contradicted Hizzoner’s claim that he barely knew Rechnitz or Reichberg.

 

Evidence displayed in court showed that Rechnitz exchanged emails directly with the mayor about who to pick for the NYPD’s most prominent positions.

Rechnitz and Reichberg lobbied de Blasio aggressively to award the job of police commissioner to Banks in late 2013.

 

When Banks resigned from the department entirely in Oct. 2014, they pleaded with de Blasio to give Banks his old job back under Commissioner Bill Bratton.

 

“What can we do for you to refuse Banks’ resignation and get him back in? And for Bratton to see past Phil’s monstrous mistake?” Rechnitz wrote directly to de Blasio.

 

The mayor even invited Rechnitz to speak with him face to face at South Street Seaport about Banks.

 

On the stand, Rechnitz referred to the mayor by his first name.

 

“I asked him if he’d reconsider. He said that Banks had made a mistake,” Rechnitz said. “I remember Bill was fuming that day.”

 

“He said he had embarrassed the mayor. He had high aspirations for (Banks), was going to make him police commissioner one day and he had really made a big mistake,” Rechnitz recalled de Blasio saying.

To read the remainder of the article click here.

Human Rights Versus Kosher Eateries and Kosher Police – Holding Restaurants Hostage – Kosher Certification Mafia

Comic Leah Forster initially scheduled a New Year’s Eve event at Brooklyn’s Garden of Eat-In in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

NYC kosher cops force restaurants to cancel bookings of lesbian Jewish comic

 

It may be kosher — but it’s not right.

 

A popular Jewish comic from Brooklyn was booted from two different eateries because the local kosher police threatened to yank their religious stamp of approval on the food if a lesbian performed there.

 

Leah Forster, 36, whose stand-up schtick features the insular Orthodox world she grew up in, had planned to hold a New Year’s Eve bash in her Brooklyn neighborhood — but both owners canceled once the “Kosher Nostra” put on the squeeze.

 

Forster’s life as a Jewish lesbian isn’t part of her act, but rabbis from the Vaad Harabanim of Flatbush, the kosher certification organization, still decided hosting her event would be a violation of Torah law.

Now the eateries may face pressure from a different front. The city’s Commission on Human Rights told Forster they may probe the alleged discrimination, she said.

Forster, a big hit on Instagram, first booked her New Year’s Eve event at Brooklyn’s Garden of Eat-In in Flatbush.

She sold 20 tickets at $80 a pop last month — and was excited about performing at one of her favorite restaurants, she said.

But two days after she announced the event online, Chaim Kirshner, the restaurant’s owner, said he was forced to back out by the Flatbush Vaad.

“(The rabbi) said that you’re a lesbian, and you represent that, and we can’t let this go on,” Kirshner told Forster in a phone call that she recorded and shared with the Daily News.

Kirshner said that he has nothing against the LGBT community and “doesn’t care” who hosts events at the restaurant.

 

But losing his kosher certification would kill his business, Kirshner added.

 

“They operate like the mafia,” Forster said. “If they pull your hechsher (kosher certification), you are screwed. They tell other places not to give you a hechsher.”

Kirshner was not available when The News visited the Garden of Eat-In on Sunday.

Forster was ready to give up and stick to secular gigs where her sexual orientation would not be an issue.

 

Continue reading

NYS Can Compel Compliance from NY Yeshivas but Parents Need to Cooperate Too

The bigger problem with the city’s yeshivas: Inspections aren’t enough to fix what ails many of them

 

The bigger problem with the city's yeshivas: Inspections aren't enough to fix what ails many of them
State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia visits Daily News Editorial Board on Tuesday May 16, 2017. (Susan Watts / New York Daily News)

As the years-long investigation into the city’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish yeshivas drags on, the New York State Education Department just released new guidelines that compel these schools to improve the quality of secular instruction offered to students. The guidelines, issued by Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, include inspections on a five-year basis. If the yeshivas fail, they could have their funding pulled.

I used to teach English, science and social studies in Orthodox yeshivas. Intervention is sorely needed, but I don’t have faith that these measures will succeed.

My schools were better than the ones in question; secular studies were at least offered, three hours a day, four days a week. The students are equally observant to Hasidic Yeshivas with a similarly rigorous Talmud knowledge expected. I tried to bring some of the material I learned in college in the mornings into my classroom in the afternoons, while “sanitizing” my knowledge for the more conservative and austere atmosphere.

It wasn’t always successful because the culture of the place powerfully resisted change.

The improvements recommended by the state need cooperation from parents. Most edification occurs after dismissal. Only 10% of my students, on average, did homework, and that was in large part because their parents weren’t interested in making sure they got it done. In my last marking period, I painfully failed 75% percent of my children.

 

Not a single parent called to complain or fought for their child. And this was in a better school, one that offers English. I cannot imagine how a parent who chose to send their child to a yeshiva that didn’t offer secular studies would stand over her or his son to do homework, after a long day of work as they juggle other children and responsibilities.

 

There is also an issue of time: The community has to choose how to spend the day’s limited hours — whether to help students grow in Torah knowledge or in fields like reading and math.

 

In a scenario where inspectors visit yeshivas, armed with guidelines, I envision administrators paying lip service and agreeing to the terms of people they see as an interference, and then returning to the status quo the second the state examiners leave.

 

The root of the problem here is that many yeshivas have a disregard for outside non-Jewish laws that propel community members to find workarounds.

 

I was hired as a teacher without training, a bachelor’s degree, a background check or a written contract. They let me — a stranger — around children. By law, I was a mandated reporter of child abuse, needing to tell the authorities if I suspected any crimes. On my first day, I was shown the textbook library and told to “figure it out” — a tall order for a neophyte educator who had to prepare students for the Regents and the general outside world.

 

Thankfully, I was always paid on time. But the consistent lack of attention to detail or even a whiff of standards and norms aren’t out of place in that world.

 

Even more than standards, yeshivas need educated educators. My coworkers and I had never earned master’s degrees in education. My employers were also similarly uneducated. They didn’t support the subjects we taught. My principals never offered pedagogical help. They were there for disciplinary issues, in case a student acted up, but never to help a young adult grow in learning.

 

When I repeatedly asked for funding for continuing education workshops, I was rebuffed. I wanted to improve as a teacher, but there were no opportunities.

Inspections are necessary. But they are woefully insufficient.

 

Reiter is a NYC-based teacher and writer.