Former DA Hynes could face $1M larceny rap

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn’s former top lawman could soon find himself behind bars.

The city’s Department of Investigations dropped a report claiming that 23-year district attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes (inset) illegally paid a political consultant more than $1.1 million in public funds between 2003 and 2013, including almost $220,000 in cash seized from criminals diverted to his unsuccessful re-election campaign last year.

The agency says that Hynes, who lost his longtime office to now-District Attorney Ken Thompson in 2013, doled out the city’s dough to consultant Mortimer Matz at a rate of $536.40 a day.

Investigators also claim that Hynes used his office e-mail account and the office e-mail accounts of his staffers to help in his failed re-election bid. The law prohibits the use of public resources for political purposes, and the former prosecutor could face charges of larceny.

The investigation also found that Hynes had sought political advice from Judge Barry Kamins — in violation of laws prohibiting sitting judges from getting involved in elections — and improperly discussed cases with him. An attorney for Kamins told the New YorkPost his client was guilty of nothing but having friendly conversations.

“Joe Hynes and Barry Kamins have known each other for 40 years and have talked politics most of that time,” lawyer Paul Shechtman told the Post. “Anyone who knows Barry knows that he would not abuse his judicial office.”

Kamins has been relieved of duty because of the report.

Hynes could not be reached for comment, but his longtime critics applauded the report’s findings.

“For decades, Hynes acted like he was above the law. That era has ended,” said Brooklyn attorney John O’Hara.

O’Hara gained prominence in the 1990s after repeatedly running against Hynes’s political allies — and after Hynes famously prosecuted him for voting in the wrong polling place.

The Department of Investigations has referred the matter to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. A legal source told us that most investigations of this nature are prosecuted by the local district attorney, but suggested that the Department may have thought that improper due to the recent bitter campaign between Hynes and Thompson.

The source predicted a high-profile prosecution, as Schneiderman is seeking re-election.

“I think Schneiderman’s going to take it and run with it,” the insider said.

Schneiderman declined to comment.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John from Bay Ridge says:
This is what happens when someone is in the same elected office for more than 3 terms. They begin to think they own the office, and all of its assets.
June 3, 2014, 3:02 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
It's about time this crook got caught. His office allows the dirt of NYC to go largely unpunished. 3 year mandatory sentences for gun possession almost always gets pleaded to 6 months or probation. Cold blooded killers get to plea down to manslaughter. Take a life, see you in 3 years then you can get back to terrorizing decent people.
June 3, 2014, 4:54 pm
Karma from the Past says:
Yah, but at least he lived in the district if you know what I mean.
June 3, 2014, 6:35 pm
Epiphany from Ex-Brooklyn says:
You elected him. Though I'll say you have little choice when the thoroughly rotten Brooklyn Democratic machine hand picks them.

Look at all the thieves representing in the State Assembly, State Senate, Kings County Courts, City Council. These demagogues are babysitting Brooklyn and stealing the food from the cabinets (or asking developers to double their wage). Brooklyn politics is dysfunctional and rotten through and through. No wonder it's full of toxic waste dumps.

Heck, Hines is retired. How about currently serving Borough President Eric Adams, and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery? (Both are under federal corruption probes-Adams is under several other investigations as well).

Isn't there anyone in the borough who will do the job without ego, getting kickbacks or outright stealing?
June 3, 2014, 7:09 pm
Karma Myass says:
Who says yah? Oh, I remember now. Go home.
June 3, 2014, 8:26 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
Geez, the "ex-Brooklyn" guy has an awful lot to say about Brooklyn.
June 3, 2014, 8:26 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
And -- addendum to "ex" -- Hines is retired because he lost the election ... as a GOP candidate. And GOP problem-wise, perhaps you've heard of Fossella? Grimm? Marty Golden?
June 3, 2014, 8:32 pm
Lester from Crown Heights says:
Can somebody up in here ask Mr. Clarence Norman what he thinks about all this?
June 3, 2014, 9:10 pm
Dan from Gravesend says:
Everybody has known for years that Hynes was a crook.
June 3, 2014, 9:36 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
It's the sewer of Brooklyn politics, now finally starting to come in for its Superfund cleanup. Thank you Lincoln Restler for leading the way.
June 4, 2014, 2:32 pm
Juice from Red Hook says:
Hynes is Schneidermans ticket to the Governors Mansion
June 5, 2014, 12:53 am
The Doctor from Brooklyn Heights says:
Eric Schneiderman and Joe Hynes are both politicians. Schneiderman has always looked the other way when his crony Hynes had trouble.
June 6, 2014, 3:28 am

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