Kickback scandal at New York’s 92nd Street Y results in firings
Y is 'taking appropriate steps, including the termination of several employees who were aware of improper conduct'.
The 92nd Street Y terminated several employees amid an investigation over kickbacks at the New York Jewish community center.
The executive director of the JCC — one of the largest and oldest Jewish community centers in North America — is away on medical leave, The New York Jewish Week reported.
An email circulated to Y employees on July 12 by the organization’s benefits manager, Cliff Owusu, describes the kickback investigation but does not mention Executive Director Sol Adler and does not identify the terminated employees, the newspaper reported.
According to the email, the Y received an anonymous letter earlier this year “alleging that one of our managerial employees in the Facilities Department had demanded and received improper payments from 92Y vendors.”
The Y “immediately formed a special committee of directors and engaged an outside law firm to investigate the allegations,” which “produced evidence that the employee in question, whose employment ended before receipt of the anonymous letter, had engaged in improper conduct,” the email said.
It noted that the employee’s severance and other benefits have been terminated, and “evidence concerning his misconduct has been disclosed to the appropriate authorities. 92Y will, of course, cooperate fully in any investigation of such misconduct.”
Although the evidence produced by the investigation pointed only to a single employee receiving improper payments, the email said the Y “is taking appropriate steps, including the termination of several employees who were aware of or should have been aware of, but failed to report, improper conduct. In addition, 92Y is retaining an independent and outside accounting firm to ensure that it is compliant with best practices and controls in all aspects of its facilities purchasing and other operations.”
The email notes that the improper conduct “has not had a material impact on 92Y’s financial condition, which is sounder than it has been in many years.”