Thursday, August 26, 2010
Thou shalt double park. Scandal rabbi using 'fire' placards
Where's the fire, rabbi?
The city Correction Department rabbi who resigned after The Post revealed he organized a bar-mitzvah bash for an inmate's son behind bars recently has been parking illegally while displaying a placard that falsely claims he is a firefighter.
The Post spotted Rabbi Leib Glanz using an official Uniformed Firefighters Association placard Friday while praying in a Williamsburg synagogue.
In June, the Post exposed how the politically connected rabbi organized a bar mitzvah last December for the son of notorious fraudster and longtime fugitive Tuvia Stern in the downtown Manhattan jail known as The Tombs. The soiree had dozens of non-inmates as guests, featured catered kosher food and a live performance by popular Orthodox Jewish singer Yaakov Shwekey.
Several former inmates soon afterward said Glanz for years had arranged for Jewish inmates to be housed at The Tombs, where he let them use his office to watch movies, make phone calls and nosh on kosher delicacies.
The exposé sparked a still-pending Department of Investigation probe into Correction's coddling of Jewish inmates, as well as the resignations of Glanz and Correction chief Peter Curcio, who didn't stop the rabbi's flouting of jailhouse policy.
But Glanz apparently still has friends in high places.
A Post reporter saw a black Chevy Suburban with official license plates double-parked Friday in front of Glanz's home on Ross Street in Brooklyn. The vehicle had emergency lights on the roof and dashboard. Also on the dashboard were two parking placards.
One read, "Active firefighter . . . This vehicle is on official UFA Business . . . Uniformed Firefighters Association . . . Expires Feb 1, 2010 . . . #22344." The other was a placard from "Chevra Hatzolah," the volunteer emergency ambulance service.
At 7:30 a.m., Glanz drove to Wilson Street and Division Avenue and parked at a school where signs read, "No Standing 7 a.m.-7 p.m., School Days." Glanz went into a synagogue at 210 Division Ave.
A friend asked why a photographer was taking pictures and then got the keys and moved the SUV to a "No Standing 9 a.m.-5 p.m." zone.
Glanz came out about 9 a.m. and said he was given the firefighter placard by the Fire Department "as a courtesy" so he could park at the main synagogue of the Satmar sect on Hooper Street.
"In case I have to respond, I can park there. There aren't a lot of spaces," he said.
Asked why he was using the placard away from the Hooper Street synagogue, Glanz replied: "I'm willing to take it off. I don't need it."
He removed the two placards and drove off.
A spokesman for the firefighters' union could not immediately answer why Glanz had a placard but said that the placards are meant to be issued only to professional firefighters.
"In past years, unauthorized personnel have been arrested for misusing these vehicle identification placards, so if someone illegally obtains one, we highly recommend returning it to the UFA or turning it in to a local police precinct," the UFA said in a prepared statement