Charles Hynes, Former Brooklyn DA Accused of Misusing Funds
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An investigation inquiry conducted by the New York City Department has accused former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes of improperly using money seized from criminal defendants in order to pay a political consultant for Hynes' last year's unsuccessful re-election campaign. It is possible that Hynes would face larceny charges.
The investigation report mentions that the Department of Investigation was specifically asked to review allegations that Hynes misused his official KCDA e-mail account for campaign purposes; received political advice from Barry Kamins, a sitting New York State Supreme Court Justice; and improperly used KCDA's New York State asset forfeiture funds to pay for a consultant's personal political services.
In consequence of the same investigation, Hon. Barry Kamins, a sitting New York State Supreme Court justice, has also been relieved from all administrative duties. The investigation found that Hynes had received at least 300 e-mails from the judge's official judicial e-mail account, and many of these e-mails show that Judge Kamins engaged in political activity as a sitting judge.
It was also found that a consultant named Mortimer Matz had been employed by the KCDA from 2003 to 2013 to provide public relations and communications services. But between January 4, 2011 and November 22, 2013, Matz's firm submitted almost 80 invoices to KCDA.
The investigation report observes, "as demonstrated by the Matz e-mails … Matz was serving primarily if not exclusively as a political consultant to Hynes personally, and that he had a major role in orchestrating Hynes' 2013 reelection campaign."
Further, the investigation found that between January 1, 2013 and November 26, 2013, the KCDA issued on an average two to three checks each month to Matz's firm from a subaccount titled "ASSET FORFEITURE" and that in calendar years 2012 and 2013 Matz's firm received an amount of $219,924 from the office. For the entire 2003-2013 tenure, Matz's office had been paid about $1.1 million from the state asset forfeiture funds.
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