As you read these quotes, remember the OU's Rabbi Menachem Genack praised Bernard S. Feldman's hire and claimed it fulfilled…
…the OU's demand for a new "independent" CEO:
…“To the best of my knowledge, there was no abuse of the kind that has been alleged,” Feldman said. “The question of underage employment in my mind is in serious doubt. And I firmly believe, based upon my present familiarity with the situation, that none of the ownership or the family has any direct or indirect culpability or responsibility to any of these allegations, which I ultimately believe will not be sustained in a court.”
Feldman has longstanding ties to the Rubashkin family, whom he defended in the Allou Distributors case, in which unexplained payments were made to Agriprocessors and its affiliates by a New York firm whose executives pleaded guilty to defrauding investors. Agriprocessors paid $1.4 million to settle the case.
Feldman's expertise is in corporate reorganization, and he has never worked in the kosher meat industry. He will retain his New York residency while working for the company, though he said he intends to spend “the major part of the next several months” in Iowa.…
Feldman also said he had not yet “formalized” the future role in the company of Sholom Rubashkin, Aaron's son and the plant's former top manager, though he said Sholom's role would be “severely diminished.” Sholom Rubashkin's ouster was announced within days of the immigration raid and his replacement was a condition of the O.U.'s continued certification.
“Despite the various allegations that exist against [Sholom M. Rubashkin], and despite all of the negative publicity that has been aimed at him, I believe that he and other family members are still the most qualified to run and operate a plant of this nature,” Feldman said. “However, because of the negativity that exists, I will utilize him initially to bring me up to speed and then I do not believe that his presence is going to be as prominent as it has in the past.”
Feldman also said the company would be hiring a new human resources manager. Elizabeth Billmeyer, who held the position at the time of the raid, was one of the defendants named in the child labor case by the Iowa attorney general. Feldman said Billmeyer was still in the company's employ, but the new CEO would not specify her current role.…
…Rabbi Menachem Genack, the union's head of kosher supervision, called the hiring "credible and wise" and said he was not concerned about Feldman's lack of kosher industry experience or his past ties to the Rubashkins.
"I think he has the right credentials for what's required," Genack said. "We look forward to working with him."
…Court records indicate that Rubashkin said his Postville real estate company, Nevel Properties, gave Allou nothing in return for tens of thousands of dollars in cash - an admission that apparently caught his attorney off guard:
"What did Nevel do for Allou?" the trustee asked.
"Nothing," Rubashkin replied.
"Perfect," said Rubashkin's attorney, Bernard Feldman.…
Here is the $1.4 million judgement against Agriprocessors in the Allou Healthcare scandal.