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Inmate's behind-bars bar mitzvah rattles chain of N.Y. officials

  • Story Highlights
  • Tuvia Stern threw event, attended by 60 people, at Manhattan Detention Complex
  • Five correction employees, including a rabbi and warden disciplined for the incident
  • Guests reportedly were allowed to use cell phones, which normally are prohibited
From Jesse Solomon
CNN
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York officials want to know how a jail inmate threw a lavish bar mitzvah for his son inside a detention facility, complete with live music and catered kosher food.

The gala, attended by about 60 people, took place in the visiting room of the Manhattan Detention Complex, a facility known locally as "The Tombs," according to a spokeswoman for New York City's Department of Investigation. Officials have launched a probe of how Tuvia Stern pulled off the event without raising any red flags, she said.

Five correction employees, including a rabbi, an assistant commissioner, a warden and two assistant chiefs, are being disciplined as a result of the incident, said Stephen Morello from the city's Department of Corrections.

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.

Stern, 47, is serving at least 2 1/2 years for a first-degree grand larceny conviction, according to corrections officials.

Manhattan prosecutors refused comment.

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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