Ex-Brooklyn Prosecutor Charles J. Hynes Accused of Misuse of Funds

by

Source: NYT –

יש דין ויש דיין - -

 2010: Charles J. Hynes meets with members of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Inc.

February 2010: Charles J. Hynes meets with members of the Crown Heights Jewish Community

A New York City Department of Investigation inquiry has implicated Charles J. Hynes, the former Brooklyn district attorney, in the improper use of money seized from drug dealers and other criminal defendants to pay a political consultant more than $200,000 for his work on Mr. Hynes’s unsuccessful re-election campaign last year.

The report, which has been referred to the state attorney general and several other agencies, concluded that Mr. Hynes could face larceny charges for the misuse of public funds.

The investigation also found that a widely respected jurist, Barry Kamins, the administrative judge for New York City’s criminal courts, violated the judicial code of ethics by advising Mr. Hynes on his campaign, offering legal advice and discussing matters that the district attorney’s office was actively prosecuting.

Justice Kamins has been relieved of all administrative duties on Monday, a state courts spokesman said.

The 27-page report, which was obtained by The New York Times, found that Mr. Hynes potentially violated the City Charter and conflict of interest board rules; violations of the City Charter can be charged as misdemeanors. Mr. Hynes’s conduct may have also violated the state penal code section on official misconduct. And payments from the office to the consultant, Mortimer Matz, may have violated the larceny provisions in the penal code. Under the code, any larceny of more than $1,000 is a felony.

In 2012 and 2013, Mr. Matz’s firm was paid $219,824 for “public relations and communications services rendered.” Investigators said that during that period, Mr. Matz “provided few if any actual public relations and communications services to the office,” adding that the consultant served “primarily if not exclusively as a political consultant to Hynes personally.”

The investigation found that in 2013, the office typically issued two or three checks each month to Mr. Matz’s firm from state asset-forfeiture funds; from 2003 through 2013, investigators said, the district attorney’s office paid the firm about $1.1 million from those funds. State law requires that asset-forfeiture funds be used only for law enforcement purposes.

The inquiry, which began in November, included the review of about 6,000 emails sent to or from Mr. Hynes’s official email address for the 18-month period before the 2013 general election.

Mr. Hynes’s emails paint a picture of a man who, after two dozen years in office, used staff members, colleagues and whatever resources he could tap to help shape what was an ultimately unsuccessful campaign against Kenneth P. Thompson.

In one example, Mr. Hynes asked Justice Kamins for suggestions on how to attack Mr. Thompson on his qualifications.

“Lack of experience in supervising a large number of attorneys,” the justice replied. “Until he puts forth a plan or set of goals, one must assume that he is not qualified to run the office.”

In another exchange, Justice Kamins told Mr. Hynes that he believed that the structure of a planned debate between Mr. Hynes and Mr. Thompson would favor Mr. Hynes. The justice wrote in the email that the debate would “focus on the nitty-gritty of what the D.A. does each day to run the office — of course Thompson has no clue and that will come out.” The debate, he continued, “may focus on budget issues as well. Will try to get more info.”

The report is yet another recent blemish on Mr. Hynes’s long career as a prosecutor in Brooklyn, a tenure that has become clouded by questions about wrongful murder convictions. Attempts to reach Mr. Hynes were unsuccessful.

Justice Kamins’s lawyer, Paul L. Shectman, called his client one of the city’s finest public servants.

“Joe Hynes and Judge Kamins have been good friends for 40 years and have talked politics for much of that time,” he said. “Anyone who knows Barry knows that he would not abuse his judicial position.”

Justice Kamins has long been known as a straight-arrow player, and he had overseen New York criminal courts before being given the additional role of the head of policy and planning for New York State’s courts this year.

David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state’s Office of Court Administration, said that Justice Kamins had been relieved of all of his administrative responsibilities, both as chief of policy and planning and in his oversight of New York City’s criminal courts.

Under New York State’s Constitution, the Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates allegations of judicial wrongdoing and is the only body that can recommend punishment or removal for a State Supreme Court justice. The commission makes its recommendations to the State Court of Appeals; while the commission can publicly admonish a judge, only the Court of Appeals can remove one.

“We are hoping that this matter is resolved as expeditiously as possible,” Mr. Bookstaver said, adding that Justice Kamins went on annual leave on Monday.

The judicial commission’s counsel and administrator, Robert H. Tembeckjian, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, also declined to comment; the report was referred to Mr. Schneiderman’s office for possible criminal prosecution.

The investigation began after complaints were received from two government entities, the report said. The inquiry continued this year under Mark G. Peters, the new commissioner of the Department of Investigation. Mr. Peters also has a connection to Mr. Hynes; he challenged him in the 2005 election, but lost.

The review of Mr. Hynes’s emails uncovered “several thousand campaign-related emails” leading up to the 2013 election, and the report said several senior staff members “appeared to have assisted Hynes in his re-election campaign,” often corresponding about the campaign during the business day.

Mr. Hynes, the report said, asked staff members to pick campaign stops, plan regular Thursday meetings with various labor, community and religious leaders, and check in on topics like when The Carib News would publish an endorsement of him.

During this time, while Mr. Matz was supposedly acting only as a public-relations consultant to the district attorney’s office, the report cited emails showing Mr. Matz scheduling an NY1 appearance, preparing information for Mr. Hynes to use in his submissions to newspaper editorial boards as they considered endorsements, and assessing what Mr. Thompson had spent on consultants.

Mr. Matz, who is nearly 90 and had long advised Mr. Hynes on public relations, was well known to many reporters who covered his office over the years as a source who could be trusted to provide accurate information on crimes and some issues involving the office. He declined to comment.

The emails also provide insight into Mr. Hynes’s aggressive campaign, in which he described one opponent in the Democratic primary, Abe George, as a “nebish” and another opponent, presumably Mr. Thompson, as “this Turkey,” and rendered the Brooklyn neighborhood Bushwick as “Bushwhack,” in an apparently sincere error.

“Thompson’s campaign sold some trash to a blog called Failed Messiah. I will be asked about it today,” Mr. Hynes wrote to a political consultant from his office email address. “Find out before 10:30 whether Thompson” filed financial-disclosure forms.

As for Justice Kamins, the report found that he had advised Mr. Hynes on his campaign, making suggestions about his public statements, talking to others on Mr. Hynes’s behalf, and providing information on opponents. The justice “engaged in political activity” and “used his office to advance Hynes’ political career,” the report found.

Of Mr. George, the onetime candidate for district attorney, Justice Kamins wrote that “as a trial assistant, George was about average,” according to an email cited in the report.

“It would be good at some point to get his record of trials,” Justice Kamins wrote, “not for negative campaigning but to present an incredibly stark comparison for voters.”

The report said Justice Kamins also “used his apparent connection” to editors of The New York Times and The New York Law Journal “to further Hynes’ political interest.” It said the justice had suggested changes in a letter Mr. Hynes was planning to write to a Times editorial-board member. And it said he told Mr. Hynes about a conversation with a New York Law Journal reporter in which “I suggested he look at the negative literature being sent by Thompson and his mediocre record as an A.U.S.A.”

Justice Kamins also held “discussions regarding pending criminal matters and investigations,” the report said. After an editorial criticizing Mr. Hynes on his record prosecuting sex-abuse cases among ultra-Orthodox Jews, Justice Kamins said, “Is it time to have the news conference that Morty suggested — with victim advocates at your side?” Justice Kamins gave advice on how to respond to questions about Jabbar Collins, a man Mr. Hynes’s office had convicted and whose conviction had been vacated by a federal judge; and about how to respond to a rising number of claims of wrongful convictions under his watch.

The justice delved into providing legal advice, too, as he guided Mr. Hynes on a lawsuit from Mr. George over a reality show at the district attorney’s office, and on whether a New York Post story that Mr. Hynes did not like met libel standards. It did not.

Document: The New York City Department of Investigation’s Findings on Charles J. Hynes

Related: [abc7] Report: Former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes used money from crimes in re-election campaign

-Charles J. Hynes-crown heights jewish community council, inc-chanina sperlin-corruption-fraud

July 13, 2013. Brooklyn Prosecutor Charles J. Hynes attended an election fundraiser in his honor  at the home of Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

July 13, 2013. Brooklyn Prosecutor Charles J. Hynes attended an election fundraiser in his honor at the home of Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council. [See More Here].

4 Responses to “Ex-Brooklyn Prosecutor Charles J. Hynes Accused of Misuse of Funds”

  1. WhoIsShmira? Says:

    Former District Attorney Charles J. Hynes maliciously prosecuted the Shomrim Six, when he knew he had no case.

    After the first witness/Mosser Shuki Gur testified, the Judge Albert Tomei, wanted to drop the case immediately. So much so that while everyone was sitting there, he attempted to phone Charles J. Hynes and inform him that this case was going to go nowhere and fast. Unfortunately, he did not reach Hynes at the time.

    What was discussed after court (later that night) between Judge Tomei and DA Hynes, we will never know. What we do know is that the next day the court proceedings continued as if nothing had ever happened.

    It seems that Hynes was very persistence and determined to prosecute six innocent people, even-though the judge on the case was attempting to convince him he had no case.

    The question I have now, considering the above corruption charges, is how much money did the Chanina Sperlin family and the corrupt cabal of Crown Heights, give Mr. Hynes to go through with the trial?

    It’s a matter of time until those emails are exposed.

  2. antimesira Says:

    B”H, may all those involved meet the same fate.

  3. Sources Claim Charles Hynes Shredded Documents Before Leaving Office Says:

    Brooklyn, NY – The battle for Brooklyn district attorney last year between Ken Thompson and Charles Hynes was a contentious one, and now sources claim Hynes shredded various documents before leaving office.

    As reported by the New York Observer (http://bit.ly/1pPuEIA ) sources say Thompson was met with trash bags of documents gathered over the 24 years Hynes was the district attorney.

    The document-shredding claims follow closely behind a Department of Investigation inquiry revealed last week regarding whether or not Hynes used public funds to pay a consultant more than $200,000.

    Attorney General Eric Scheniderman is looking into possible criminal charges against Hynes.

    Several meetings were postponed before Thompson took office earlier this year. Ultimately, Hynes did meet with him once – for 30 minutes.

    Hynes’ feelings about Thompson became public when the New York Times published emails sent from Hynes’ account to his supporters during the campaign, with Hynes calling Thompson “a clown,” according to one email.

    A Thompson spokesperson said the DA had no comment, and Hynes could not be reached for comment.

  4. Report: Feds Join AG In Charles Hynes Investigation Says:

    New York – Federal investigators are now part of the inquiry into former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes’ financial dealings while in office.

    The New York Post (http://bit.ly/SOSyIc ) reports Attorney General Schneiderman began his inquiry after the New York City Department of Investigation directed the AG to a report showing Hynes used $1.1 million in asset forfeiture money to pay Mortimer Matz – a political consultant – between 2003 and 2013. More than $200,000 went to Matz for Hynes’ 2013 campaign work.

    Federal investigators have interviewed two DA detective investigators who are alleged to have driven Mortimer to and from his home while he worked as Hynes’ consultant.

    In a move that will allow state and federal prosecutors to work more closely together in the investigation, two Brooklyn federal court US assistant attorneys were deputized by the attorney general’s office and two assistant attorney generals were deputized as federal prosecutors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: