District Attorney May Have Misused Public Funds -Report
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[June 03, 2014]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - 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
Hynes could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.
The department launched the probe in November following requests by
two separate government agencies, which were not named in the
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.
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"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.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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