Brooklyn Boro

Report accuses Charles Hynes of misusing seized funds

June 3, 2014 Associated Press and Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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A report by the city’s Department of Investigation accuses former Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes of using money seized from drug dealers and criminal defendants to pay for a political consultant.

The New York Times said the report has been referred to the state attorney general for possible larceny charges for misuse of public funds.

The 27-page report obtained by the Times says the consultant, Mortimer Matz, was paid over $200,000 for his work on Hynes’s unsuccessful re-election campaign last year. But the report says Matz provided few if any actual services to the office and served primarily as Hynes’ personal political consultant.

The investigation began in November and reviewed about 6,000 emails from Hynes’ official email address during an 18-month period before the 2013 election.

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Hynes was defeated by Ken Thompson after a bruising Democratic primary. Thompson is a former federal prosecutor and Brooklyn’s first black district attorney.

Attempts to reach Hynes and Matz for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.

The report also alleges that Hynes’ made unofficial contact with members of the Brooklyn judiciary, at times seeking advice from judges who were old friends. The degree to which ethics rules may have been violated by email communication with Hynes has already cast a shadow on at least one high-ranking judge. A number of former employees and consultants serving Hynes are also named in the report.

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office is one of the nation’s largest, with more than 1,500 new cases a week. It handles more than 80,000 cases per year.

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