Tuesday, August 30, 2016


EXCLUSIVE: Brooklyn lawyer, civil court judge hopeful failed to pay back over $500G from deceased man's estate: 'The facts are troubling'

Publicity handout taken from avigdorforjudge.com. Approved by Kevin Macdonald 08/25/16

Months before Elias Gelbwachs died in October 2004, he named Morton Avigdor (pictured) as a co-executor of his estate in his living will and his son Avi Jay Gelbwachs as his beneficiary.


A Brooklyn lawyer with hopes of becoming a civil court judge has failed to pay back over $500,000 he did not account for from a deceased man’s estate, court documents reveal.

Months before Elias Gelbwachs died in October 2004, he named Morton Avigdor as a co-executor of his estate in his living will and his son Avi Jay Gelbwachs as his beneficiary.

Gelbwachs, 86, also graciously listed nine charities to divvy up 10 percent of his estate — including Yeshiva of Brooklyn, Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Corp., and American Cancer Society.
After Gelbwachs, a retired accountant, died, Avigdor was in charge of distributing the $1.125 million of assets, court records show.

During a Rabbinical Court proceeding in 2009, Avigdor turned over a one-page document where he admitted to using portions of the estate’s funds to buy homes at 7104 Fort Hamilton Pwky. and 884 71st St., both in Brooklyn, according to court documents.

Avigdor, 59, whose campaign website for civil court judge highlights his “honesty” and “integrity,” used the Fort Hamilton residence to house a $35,000 investment with Doctors on Call.
Avigdor filed a lawsuit against the medical company in 2014, claiming he was denied profits as a partner and in a May deposition hearing, he even denied running for judgeship, according to court documents.

After paying for the funeral and other expenses, $900,000 was still missing, according to court documents.

Multiple request for comment from Avigdor were not returned.

The Rabbinical Court authorized the co-executor, Moshe Twersky, to take appropriate action in civil court to remove Avigdor from the estate.

A committee later reviewed Avigdor’s activity and found no misconduct in 2010, a source told the Daily News.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, then under Charles Hynes, did not file any charges after a complaint was made in Feb. 2011, sources said.

After Gelbwachs, a retired accountant, died, Avigdor was in charge of distributing the $1.125 million of assets, court records show.

After Gelbwachs, a retired accountant, died, Avigdor was in charge of distributing the $1.125 million of assets, court records show.

In June 2011, after several delays to turn over the estate’s accounting, Avigdor’s role was terminated by Judge Diana Johnson.

A judgment of $750,000 was issued against Avigdor to pay by July 2014 — he has defaulted despite selling the Fort Hamilton building in 2014 for $1.1 million, according to public records.

“He still owes $572,000,” Avi Jay, 56, told The News. “I’ve known him since we were little. We are still friends, we still speak, but it’s been difficult. ... He says he will pay back every penny.’
Nonetheless, in court documents obtained by The News, Avigdor did not disclose the large liability or his alleged role with the medical company to the state Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System.

“The facts are troubling,” said Ellen C. Yaroshefsky, the head of Hofstra University’s Ethics Institute. “Moreover, the New York State judicial candidate form requires disclosure of this information and failure to comply can result in significant sanctions including referral to disciplinary committee and potential criminal liability, which should preclude him from becoming a judge.”

In May, lawyer Frank Racano was indicted for grand larceny after he was held in contempt in civil court for dipping into the escrow account for the late Judge John Phillips.

Avigdor, an ex-staffer for disgraced ex-Brooklyn Rep. Anthony Weiner, is also delinquent with paying his $375 biannual registration fees to the state court system.

“I would still vote for him so I can get 10 percent of his income,” said Avi Jay.

Avigdor, so far, received $8,750 in campaign donations — $2,105 were in-kind donations from himself, public records show.

The state and local primary elections will take place Sept. 13.


Shmuel Kaminetzky is not a believer in vaccinations; He's in good company...... Landell, 26, a now-former Publix supermarket worker, isn’t a believer in doctors or medicine and held to the theory that evil took his little girl’s life, according to Hamrick.

Two Georgia Parents Let Their Infant Starve to Death In Large Part Due To Their Religious Beliefs

Last year, a 10-week-old baby was killed in Gwinnett County, Georgia after being starved to death by her parents. Mother Lauren Fristed was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct and sentenced just this month to 20 years in prison.

The father, Herbert “George” Landell, was found guilty of second-degree murder this morning. He’ll likely be locked away, too.
While starvation is certainly the method used to kill her, what’s more disturbing is how religion played a role in their negligence.
… Landell, 26, a now-former Publix supermarket worker, isn’t a believer in doctors or medicine and held to the theory that evil took his little girl’s life, according to Hamrick.

On her last day, March 25, he told police he found her in trouble, her skin turned grey and blue. He said he lifted her from the crib and tried to give her a bottle. He told his wife, 25-year-old Lauren Fristed, to leave the room because of her “negative energy,” and he prayed, [detective Charles] Hamrick said.
Even if he didn’t want to take the baby to the doctor, couldn’t the mother override his wishes? No. Because the Bible told her not to.
On the day the girl died, Fristed sent a text to her “spiritual adviser,” a minister of non-denominational Christianity in Lawrenceville, saying, “I wish he would let us go get her seen about,” the detective said.

Faith prevented her from pressing it.
“She told me on several occasions that she obeys her husband,” Hamrick said, “that that’s what the Bible says.”

Just horrible parenting guided by horrible faith.

If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that Georgia doesn’t allow religious exemptions from the law when it comes to murdering your child. (Believe it or not, other states do.) That’s why both parents are getting the harsh punishments they deserve.

If only they had the common sense to take their daughter to a doctor instead of listening to the voices in their head and church.


More parents believe vaccines are unnecessary

File photo of a child being vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.
Sean Gallup, Getty Images
Pediatricians are encountering more parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated, mainly because they don’t see the point of vaccines, a U.S. survey found.

In the survey, conducted in 2013, about 87 percent of pediatricians said they had encountered vaccine refusals, an increase from the 75 percent who reported refusals during the last survey from 2006.

The most common reason, provided by three out of every four parents: Vaccines are unnecessary because the diseases they prevent have been wiped out in the United States.

“Because these diseases are gone, people no longer fear them, even though many of them are only a plane ride away,” said Dr. Kathryn Edwards, co-author of a new American Academy of Pediatrics report based on the survey. “They don’t seem to realize that these diseases do exist in other places, and could come here.”
The percentage of pediatricians who always dismiss patients over repeated vaccine refusals has also increased, doubling from 6 percent in 2006 to 12 percent in 2013, the survey found.

In the report, the AAP urges pediatricians to exercise patience with worried parents rather than closing their doors to them.
“Our goal is to work with our patients so they understand the importance of vaccinations, and their questions about vaccines are answered,” said Edwards, a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.

The reasons parents provide for refusing vaccines have evolved in recent years, pediatricians report.

In 2006, about three of every four parents who refused vaccines said they were worried that vaccines could cause autism​ -- a theory that’s been debunked -- or produce serious side effects.

Fewer parents gave those as reasons in 2013, although many still cite concerns about safety. Concerns over a baby being too small to receive vaccines, or discomfort at having too many shots at once, have also diminished, the survey found.

Instead, most parents are refusing childhood vaccinations because they see vaccines as unnecessary, and that number increased by 10 percent between the two surveys.

The new survey results are published online Aug. 29 in the journal Pediatrics.

Thanks to the protection provided by vaccines, parents haven’t seen the ravages that can be wrought on children by diseases like chicken pox​, measles​, meningitis and polio, said Dr. Claire McCarthy, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“We are so good at what we do with vaccines that the danger of vaccine-preventable illness can seem not quite real to this generation of parents, and that’s definitely getting in the way,” McCarthy said.
Pediatricians need to confront this belief, Edwards and McCarthy agreed.

“This is very frightening to us as pediatricians because in this global world, their child absolutely could get polio,” McCarthy said. “Polio is endemic in many parts of the world, and all we need is for one of those people to come on over to the United States and hang out in a shopping mall or Disney World.”

The report urges pediatricians to:
  • Listen to parents patiently, address concerns and correct misperceptions.
  • Explain that vaccines are rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness.
  • Present all vaccinations as required rather than optional.
  • Personalize the positive message about vaccines.
Pediatricians can also note that they receive regular flu vaccinations to protect their patients, and that they’ve had their own children vaccinated as recommended, said Edwards, who is pediatrics chair at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

Doctors also can present tales of tragedy from their own experience, she added.

“Many years ago, I watched a baby die of meningitis that I couldn’t rescue,” Edwards said. “Now that’s gone, because everybody gets meningitis vaccine. That’s the power of vaccine. It’s enormous.”
Pediatricians also should remind parents that vaccination is something of a civic duty. If large numbers of parents refuse vaccines, the herd immunity that occurs with widespread vaccination can be compromised, McCarthy said.

“Vaccination is not just about you and your kid,” she said. “It’s about your neighbor’s newborn. It’s about your grandmother. It’s about the kid at school who can’t receive a vaccine because he’s on chemotherapy.”
The 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak​ provides another good example pediatricians can cite, McCarthy said.

“I can say, ‘Look, this is real, your child could get measles,’” she said.

In a separate policy statement published in Pediatrics alongside the survey, the AAP also recommended doing away with non-medical exemptions to school-required immunizations.

“We need to make it harder for parents not to vaccinate. That’s really important,” McCarthy said.