Hynes seeks special prosecutor to investigate Lopez

September 1, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
District Attorney Charles Hynes
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DA mentions leader’s support for his campaigns

On Friday, Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes requested a special prosecutor to investigate allegations against embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Bushwick/Williamsburg), who recently stepped down from his post as chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party.

“Press reports concerning the report of the Assembly Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance to Speaker Sheldon Silver, regarding allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez [of sexual improprieties directed at several female members of his staff], did not make clear the county where the alleged acts occurred,” said Hynes.

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“I made a request to the Standing Committee to determine if any of the conduct occurred in Kings County. On Wednesday Aug. 29, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Upper West Side), chair of the committee advised me that some of the conduct did occur in Kings County. 

“Later that day I asked for and received a copy of the committee’s letter to Speaker [Sheldon] Silver,” said Hynes. That letter said the committee believed the accusations against Lopez were true, and asked Silver to censure him.

Hynes added that after consulting with his senior staff, he felt that the fact that the Kings County Democratic County Committee, led at the time by Lopez, supported his re-election campaign in 2009 and his upcoming re-election campaign in 2013 could create an “appearance of impropriety.”

This fact, said Hynes, required him to apply for the appointment of another prosecutor to conduct an investigation of the committee’s findings.

“This morning I applied for the appointment of a special district attorney, and am making public my affirmation supporting my application,” said the district attorney.

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