Lavish Bar Prison Bar Mitzvah Leaves Mayor Fuming

Dozens of guests allowed into jail for catered party; city sprang for overtime
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2009 5:54 AM CDT
The Manhattan House of Detention, known as the Tombs, was the venue for the bar mitzvah party for the son of a convicted scam artist.   (AP Photo/Ed Ford, File)
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(Newser) – Embarrassed New York City officials are investigating how a well-connected inmate was allowed to hold a bar mitzvah for his son inside a prison gym, the New York Post reports. Caterers, entertainers, and 60 guests were allowed into the jail to celebrate the milestone for the son of convicted scam artist Tuvia Stern. Guards were paid overtime for the occasion, which went so well that Stern later held his daughter's engagement party in the same venue.

"Clearly, this is not something that should have taken place," Mayor Bloomberg said, ordering an investigation. "I don't care how you sugarcoat it or how you define it, it's sort of through the looking glass." Five prison employees—including a rabbi and an imam—are believed to have been disciplined.
(Read more prison stories.)