Extortion, Sex and Suicide at 92nd Street Y - The Jewish Voice
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Extortion, Sex and Suicide at 92nd Street Y

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By Allan Remsen
By Allan Remsen
Sol Adler, the longtime executive director of New York’s 92nd Street Y who was fired after revelations that he had a long-term affair with his assistant, has hanged himself. The body of Adler, 60, was found by his wife in his Oceanfront Sea Gate home. His suspected suicide came two weeks after the 92Y announced that it had hired Henry Timms, to succeed Adler. Timms had served as interim director since Adler’s firing last July. Before being named interim executive director following the scandal, Timms served as the Y’s deputy executive director for innovation, strategy and content.

The Y also announced that Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, senior rabbi at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, will join the organization’s staff in September as director of Jewish community and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at the Y. Rubinstein will oversee the Y’s Jewish programming, the organization said in a statement.

Adler had been fired from his $430,000-a-year post at the Y in 2012, after a two-decade career as director. Adler was executive director of the Y since 1988; he had started working there in 1978. Under his tenure, the Y had raised more than $80 million and doubled its number of programs, growing into one of the country’s premier cultural institutions.

He reportedly had an extramarital affair with Catherine Marto, the Manhattan Jewish cultural center’s liaison for board and donor relations and his personal assistant. Marto also was fired after the Y deemed that she provided unsatisfactory answers to an investigation of her son-in-law, Sal Taddeo, a former Y employee who allegedly received kickbacks from Y vendors while working there.

Sal Taddeo, a onetime stockbroker who pleaded guilty in 1999 for his role in a Mafia-run Wall Street scam, began working at the Y in 2000 shortly after leaving prison. He became head of facilities operations in 2005. Taddeo, according to the Daily News, oversaw bids on construction work done at the Y facility. It is not clear if Y officials knew of Taddeo’s criminal background when hiring him or whether Adler’s relationship with Marto influenced the decision to employ him.

Adler was ousted after an anonymous letter revealed that he had been engaging in an extramarital affair with Catherine Marto. At the time of his firing, the Y explained in a statement that its decision to fire Adler was the result of his “undisclosed long-term personal relationship” with Marto.

Sal Taddeo, an ex-convict was not the only one to get axed. Several other employees were fired “for engaging in and failing to report suspected inappropriate behavior.”

In 1999, Sal Taddeo worked at Meyers Pollock, he told the judge at the time of his stock fraud case that he knew that as more shares were sold, the stock price would rise. ”And money would be made,” he added. ”Was the intent to drive the price up?” Judge Chin asked. ”Yes,” Mr. Taddeo replied.

Taddeo’s role in the Healthtech scheme was to “pump and dump” the stock, that is fraudulently drive the price up on unknowing investor’s money, and then sell it for profit leaving the innocent investors with shares of worthless stock. Taddeo spent eighteen months in prison for participation in the stock fraud.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance launched the investigation into the vendor kickback scandal.

No criminal behavior is suspected in connection with Adler’s death.

While we know this news is unsettling, we believe that the 92Y Board has taken the appropriate steps so that the kind of activity discovered should never happen again,” it said. “The Board has engaged an independent accounting firm to assist in implementing best financial practices and we are undertaking a top to bottom governance review to ensure that all of the people in our organization live up to the values we espouse.”The Y is one of the largest and oldest Jewish community centers in North America and is known internationally for its extensive cultural programming.

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