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Feds Clear Ex-Brooklyn DA Joe Hynes Of Corruption Allegations, Sources Say

By Murray Weiss | December 16, 2016 4:23pm
 New bombshell court papers accuse the Brooklyn DA of holding witnesses against their will, intimidation and forging signatures.
New bombshell court papers accuse the Brooklyn DA of holding witnesses against their will, intimidation and forging signatures.
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Brooklyn District Attorney

CADMAN PLAZA EAST — The federal investigation into former Brooklyn District Attorney Joseph Hynes has ended without charges being filed or a grand jury convened, DNAinfo New York has learned.

For three years, the feds probed allegations that the 81-year-old Hynes — the borough’s top law enforcement official for 23 years — used forfeiture money seized by his office to pay for political activities conducted by Hynes’ long time public relations aide, Mortimer Matz.

Late Friday, prosecutors in the Office of Brooklyn US Attorney Robert Capers finally concluded that Matz’ counseling, in fact, was done solely to burnish Hynes’ public persona.

Sources say Matz' work was not political, and therefore his salary was legally paid for.

More than a dozen people who worked for Hynes, or were his friends, were grilled by the feds.

The allegations that the forfeiture funds were being misused surfaced late in 2013 during Hynes' contentious re-election battle with Kenneth Thompson, who eventually unseated him.

The probe was initially also conducted by the city's Department of Investigation and the state Attorney General's Office before it was taken over by the feds.

Beside losing the election, the corruption allegations that attacked Hynes' integrity were deeply disturbing for the proud Hynes, who had previously served as city Fire Commissioner and as state Special Medicaid prosecutor before he was elected DA. He was also lauded for his work as the special prosecutor in the infamous Howard Beach murder case involving young whites accused of killing a black man.

A spokesman for Capers declined comment. Attempts to reach Hynes were not immediately successful.

Richard Greenberg, the attorney for Matz, said "it is doubtful that any law enforcement office was ever seriously investigating Morty for any criminal conduct, so it is not a surprise to hear today’s welcome news."

Matz, 92, a legendary press agent known for creating the Nathan's Hot Dog Fourth of July eating contest, "has never been a 'political consultant,'" Greenberg concluded.

"It is a great day for Morty and NYC that his impeccable reputation as been restored or maintained."