Former Brooklyn DA Accused of Using Drug Money for Failed Reelection Bid

By Gustavo Solis on June 3, 2014 1:02pm 

 Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes speaks at a anti-gun rally in Bed-Stuy.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes speaks at a anti-gun rally in Bed-Stuy.
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DNAinfo/Janet Upadhye

BROOKLYN — Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes used money seized from drug dealers and felons to help fund his failed reelection bid, the city Department of Investigation found.

Hynes used $219,924 in asset-forfeiture funds to pay political consultant Mortimer Matz during the campaign, according to the DOI report released under the state Freedom of Information Law.

“It appears Matz provided few if any actual public relations and communications services to [Hynes],” the report stated. “DOI’s review suggests that Matz was serving primarily if not exclusively as a political consultant to Hynes personally.”

The investigation subpoenaed more than 6,000 emails sent to or received by Hynes on his official account during the 18-month period leading up to the 2013 general election.

The report also alleges that Hynes received political advice from Justice Barry Kamanis, who served as Brooklyn’s administrative judge.

“I charge very little to be a consultant,” the judge wrote in on of 300 e-mails sent to Hynes. “My only request: standing next to you ... at the victory speech.”

The report adds to a growing list of scandals that have plagued the former district attorney since he left office.

He has recently come under fire for how he prosecuted sexual abuse cases in the Hasidic community and a number of overturned conviction cases.

Kamanis has been suspended from his duties as chief of planning and policy for the state court system and no longer oversees the city's criminal courts.

Hynes could not be reached for comment.