Did Charles Hynes Use $200K in Seized Funds for Failed Brooklyn Reelection Push?

Prosecutor Irked Ultra-Orthodox on Sex Abuse Campaign

shulamit seidler-feller

By Reuters

Published June 03, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An investigation into former six-term Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes found his office spent more than $200,000 in seized criminal funds on consultant services for his failed reelection campaign last year, a report said on Monday.

A 27-page report by the New York City Department of Investigations reviewed by Reuters said Hynes is potentially guilty of larceny for misusing the public funds, which can only be used for law enforcement purposes. Larceny of more than $1,000 is a felony.

It also found that 95 percent of the more than 6,000 emails sent and received by Hynes’ official district attorney email account in the 18 months leading up to the November 2013 election were related to his campaign, potentially violating the New York City Charter and ethics code.

Hynes could not be immediately reached for comment.

The ex-prosecutor was a lightning rod for criticism over his handling of sex abuse allegations in the ultra-Orthodox community. Many Hasidic leaders accused him of heavy-handed tactics, but some also slammed his Kol Tzedek program for keeping secret the names of abusers, even after convictions.

The department launched the probe in November following requests by two separate government agencies, which were not named in the report.

The report also implicates Judge Barry Kamins, a veteran of the bench who last year was appointed as the Chief of Policy and Planning for New York State’s court system and oversaw the New York City criminal courts.

The report said that Kamins was among Hynes’ top political advisers and used his prestige and personal networks to further Hynes’ political goals. It added that Kamins also provided legal advice in cases that the attorney’s office was prosecuting.

“Charles Hynes and Barry have been good friends for 40 years and have discussed politics for much of that period. Anybody who knows Judge Kamins knows that he would not abuse his judicial position,” said Paul Shechtman, Kamins’ attorney.

The code of conduct bars judges from engaging in political campaigns except for their own, or from giving advice to either side of a court case without letting the other party know.

A court spokesman said on Monday that Kamins had been relieved of his duties, both as chief of policy for the state courts and in his oversight role of the city’s criminal courts.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Yeshiva University's lawyer wanted to know why the dozens of former schoolboys now suing over a sexual abuse cover-up didn't sue decades ago. Read the judge's striking response here.
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.