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Atlantic Yards bitterness, take 1: an eavesdropper from Forest City Ratner outside the court room

From John Brennan's coverage in the Record, headlined Holdouts' deal clears way for Nets arena in Brooklyn, of the scene outside the courtroom yesterday.

Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn was describing the settlement he'd reached with Forest City Ratner:

During the interview, Goldstein’s attorney, Michael Rikon, asked for the identity of a man lurking nearby and who appeared to be taking notes electronically via a hand-held device. The man said he was Michael Rapfogel, a vice president with Forest City Ratner Companies, the developer.

When Rikon asked the reporters to move down the hall, Rapfogel followed and continued to eavesdrop.
A Michael Rapfogel is son of William E. Rapfogel, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a powerhouse social service organization.

William Rapfogel is a longtime friend of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who funds his agency generously. And Rapfogel's wife Judy is Silver's chief of staff.

In 2008, developer Bruce Ratner was honored by the Met Council. It's all in the family.


  1. He told me that he worked for Forest City. When I asked him to move away from the interview of Mr. Goldstein, he replied that he went to law school too and knew his rights. I found this spying to be bizzare and not a verygood reflection of a major developer.Michael Rikon


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