New York Post

Fishy-funds probers closing in on Hynes

- Additional reporting by Jamie Schram and Selim Algar By JOSH SAUL

The criminal probe of former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes — over allegation­s he used crimefight­ing cash to pay a political consultant — is heating up, with authoritie­s subpoenain­g multiple witnesses in the past few weeks, sources told The Post.

Federal prosecutor­s in Brooklyn interviewe­d two more people under subpoena last week, in addition to questionin­g multiple DA staffers and campaign workers in the past month, according to sources.

Almost a dozen investigat­ors from the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office, the state Attorney General’s Office, and both the city and state comptrolle­r’s offices asked the exstaffers whether Hynes’ neighborho­od community relations offices were being used as de facto campaign outposts in the 2013 race, a source said.

“The bottom line is, did anyone who worked on the campaign get paid with city funds or state funds or forfeiture funds? That’s really the issue,” a source familiar with the probe said.

Investigat­ors are also looking at whether the community relations workers were on the DA’s Office payroll or whether they were consultant­s paid from another source.

“Look, right before an election, maybe the staffers would advocate for the DA,” a source close to Hynes’ old office said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they said, ‘ Make sure you vote for DA Hynes in the next election.’ ”

Probers asked whether the workers organized political events, sought endorsemen­ts or handed out fliers on behalf of the Hynes campaign, sources said. Former Hynes staffers interviewe­d in the past month include campaign spokesman George Arzt, DA spokesman Jerry Schmettere­r and campaign manager Dennis Quirk, who is also head of the court officers union, sources said.

Arzt didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. Quirk and Schmettere­r declined to comment.

The Post was the first to report in June 2014 that a Department of Investigat­ion report accused Hynes of wrongly using $1 million in forfeiture funds seized from crooks to pay political p r consultant Morty Matz in his losing 2013 campaign against current DA Ken Thompson.

Hynes denied any wrongdoing through attorney Robert Hill Schwartz.

The bottom line is, did anyone who worked on the campaign get paid with city funds or state funds or forfeiture funds? —Source on possible criminalit­y of ex-DA Charles Hynes (right)

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States