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NYC rabbi resigns amid accusations about jail bar mitzvah

  • Story Highlights
  • Rabbi Leib Glanz started as a Manhattan Detention Complex chaplain in 2000
  • Corrections official Peter Curcio also resigned, department spokesman says
  • 3 other corrections employees have been disciplined as a result of the incident
  • Inmate who threw bar mitzvah also hosted daughter's engagement party at jail
By Jesse Solomon
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A New York City rabbi tendered his resignation Tuesday amid accusations that he helped organize a behind-bars bar mitzvah for an inmate's son, according to the city's Department of Corrections.

Rabbi Leib Glanz served as Jewish chaplain of the Manhattan Detention Complex, a facility known locally as "the tombs," since 2000

Peter Curcio, who held the post of bureau chief of facility operations for the city's Department of Corrections, also resigned, according to Stephen Morello of the New York City Department of Corrections.

Morello said that three other employees, including a warden, assistant commissioner and assistant chief have been disciplined as a result of the incident.

The gala, which had about 60 guests and included catered kosher food and live musical entertainment, has caused a severe headache for city officials ever since it came to light last week.

The New York City Department of Investigation has since launched a probe into how the inmate, Tuvia Stern, pulled off the event for his son without raising any red flags, according to a department spokeswoman.

"We are probing preferential treatment, special treatment, special visits, special meals and special-access calls," the spokeswoman said.

Norman Seabrook, the president of the Corrections Officers Benevolence Association, or COBA, issued a statement saying, "it is imperative for a new team of leadership to take over, clean house, and immediately restore accountability, which has been absent for too long."

The New York Post, which first broke the story on Thursday, reported that guests were allowed to use cell phones -- which are normally prohibited at the jail.

The bar mitzvah bash, which took place in the visiting room of the prison, was so successful that Stern also hosted his daughter's engagement party there in April, according to the Department of Investigation.

Stern, 47, was originally arrested in 1989, but jumped bail and spent two decades on the run before authorities caught up to him. He is currently serving at least 2 1/2 years for a first-degree grand larceny conviction, according to corrections officials.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office confirmed that they are looking into the matter, but have refused to disclose the investigation's specifics.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking on a morning radio show Friday, would not divulge details about the investigation, but quipped, "As they say, oy vey."

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