Former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes implicated in ethics investigation
A new report from the city’s oversight agency implicates a former Brooklyn district attorney of spending $1.1 million in asset forfeiture money on a political consultant in his failed reelection bid.
The 27-page document obtained by the New York Times implicates former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, 79, in the swindle. At least $219,924 in proceeds confiscated by the state were paid to a private consultancy firm between January and November of last year.
The firm, Matz, Blancato & Associates, also allegedly billed the DA’s office for $2,682 per week for public relations and communications services between 2003 and 2013 for a total of more than $1 million.
Owner Mortimer Matz reportedly ended his relations with the DA’s office in 2013, but not with Hynes — investigators wrote that he still served “primarily if not exclusively as a political consultant to Hynes personally.”
The report has been forwarded and received by the New York State attorney general’s office, but there are no charges as of Tuesday morning. Hynes faces larceny charges if authorities pursue the case.
DOI subpoenaed about 6,000 emails sent to or received by Hynes during its investigation that began in November. The report also alleged that the emails show misuse of government resources by Hynes in his most recent reelection race, coordinating election communications with DA’s office staff.
The emails also appear to reveal sitting New York State Supreme Court Justice Barry Kamins as offering political and legal advice for both the campaign and the pending court cases.
The embattled Hynes has face ongoing questions about his office before he was defeated by new Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson last fall.
Last week, Thompson vowed to reexamine 90 homicide cases from during Hynes tenure after a string of wrongful convictions tied to one since-retired detective were revealed.
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria