THE MICHAEL GRIMM - RABBI PINTO - OFER BITON STORY HAS BEEN TOLD AND RETOLD — GRIMM’S INCRIMINATING EMAILS GIVE IT NEW LIFE
GRIMM GETTING INSIDE INFORMATION TO PUSH BACK AGAINST RECCHIA ON ANOTHER “JEWISH” FUND RAISING FRONT — FOR HELPING TO RE-ZONE SYNAGOGUE SITE INTO AN OFFICE PLAZA FOR SAM SCHPELFOGEL
Rabbi Pinto story getting new legs
It was exactly a month ago that the New York Post published a lengthy article about Michael Grimm’s possible involvement in a shakedown of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, an Orthodox Jewish mystic (See “Israeli official pressured rabbi to protect Michael Grimm: sources” by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, 9/28/14, NY Post/ Metro [http://nypost.com/2014/09/28/israeli-official-pressured-rabbi-to-protect-michael-grimm-sources/]). The E-mails from Michael Grimm that came out in a Post exclusive by the same reporters this past Sunday, give it all new life. That’s because the Grimm E-mails, if they are legit, are in the nature of a smoking gun (See my take on the Sunday Post story in my 10/26/14 post below, “Latest 2014 Bombshell Against...Grimm — 2010 Email ... Seeking IIlegal Congressional Campaign Funds ...”).
According to the month-old report in the Post. “A top official in Israel tried to intimidate the rabbi who claims Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm shook him down for donations, sources familiar with the investigation told The Post. *** The FBI is investigating allegations by Orthodox mystic Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who testified against Grimm in 2010. *** In 2011, then-Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, a follower of the rabbi, visited Pinto at his home in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel and told him that if he continued to cooperate with the FBI, ‘you’re going to have a disaster in Israel,’ a source told The Post. ‘In Israel they’re going to ruin you.” *** “The rabbi started off as a victim and did the right thing by seeking out law enforcement, and now has been victimized once again,’ said Arthur Aidala, Pinto’s Manhattan lawyer. He has been joined by famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is a follower and longtime friend of the rabbi. *** It is unclear whether Grimm was directly involved, but Pinto’s supporters believe he exerted his own pressure on Israeli power brokers fearful of losing the Republican congressman as a supporter.” This article also goes on to state in some detail the inter-relatedness of the legal problems of Rabbi Pinto, Ofer Biton and Ronn Torossian, and Congressman Grimm.
Various increments and versions of this story have plagued Grimm for several years; but now, with what looks like soliciting E-mails from Grimm, the Congressman appears to be directly involved in the plot(s) to some extent. This couldn’t happen at a worse time for Grimm’s re-election campaign.
Obviously, Grimm’s people don’t really want to address any of that between now and the election. So don’t be surprised if the Grimm folks come up with a significant smokescreen — possibly it could involve some questionable quid pro quo story about Domenic Recchia’s fund raising and his backing for a controversial development for a controversial developer in Brighton Beach.
Recchia’s ties to Brighton Beach Office Project
An Orthodox Jewish outside-in-sider antagonist of one of the Brighton Beach crowd’s more notorious slumlords and real estate developers has given a chapter ’n’ verse briefing to one of Grimm’s staffers, W[L]M. It’s all about Domenic Recchia’s connections and dealings with and for Sam Schpelfogel, a widely known and quite controversial character in several communities in southern Brooklyn, including some parts of Domenic Recchia’s City Council District. The whole story probably overlaps with several other Democrats like Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, former State Senator Carl Kruger, former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes and even Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; but this particular item is about the re-development of a synagogue site into and office building back in 2001, or so.
At the time there was significant opposition to wiping out all vestiges of an historic synagogue on the corner of Coney Island and Brighton Beach Avenues that Sam Schpelfogel wanted to re-zone and redevelop as office space. So Councilman Domenic Recchia’s support and testimony at various hearings was a key element in getting the zoning changed so that a new office plaza could be built at 3044 Coney Island Avenue.
Of course there’s the rest of the story that goes something like this: a long time antagonist of Sam Schlepfogel says that Mr. SS is a notorious cad to the tenants of Brighton Beach and surrounding areas. Not only is he hooked-up big time with the local Democrats, including downtown at the courts, Sam has been known to throw his significant weight around with more physical consequences, some of which even having to be dealt-with by the authorities. However, Mr. Schpelfogel, usually acting through others, has shown his generosity to many, including Mr. Recchia over the years; and that generosity has resulted in generally fine treatment for Mr. S and whatever he might be up to.
All of that and a file of newspaper clippings was brought to Grimm’s guy W[L]M yesterday. Interestingly, W[L]M told Schpelfogel’s antagonist that the Grimm folks had done some research on all of it already. Funny how that works.