For a while now, staff of the Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles (Joe) Hynes have been leaking information to me because they are disgusted with the unethical conduct in the Brooklyn DA’s office.
The pace of leaks is accelerating because employees are terrified that Hynes might get reelected. Right now they are rooting for Kenneth Thompson to win the election even though he is an unknown. Like employees in any organization contemplating a new boss, they are not sure how a DA Thompson would function and who he would favor, demote, or even dismiss. Everyone is sure he will fire Michael Vecchione and Henna White. Nevertheless, more and more of them are now willing to gamble on the “devil they don’t know.”
Hynes is trying to convince them he will be reelected and will ride out his scandals. Someone is spreading the word that the canvassing by his campaign organization confirms that he will win by a generous margin. That is nonsense. As Nate Silver demonstrated in the Obama-Romney contest, quality polling trumps internal canvassing data. If Hynes is politically competent he has commissioned a high quality voter poll. If the results are favorable he would have released them to demoralize his opposition and stanch the defection of key supporters.
Meanwhile, at home, Hynes is waging war on his loyal employees who insist on being ethical. For example, ADA Barbara Burke used to work on the executive floor (19) responding to Joel Rudin’s discovery requests in the Jabbar Collins lawsuit. She got the same treatment as Mark Posner; she was abruptly transferred to ECAB, the Siberia of the DA’s office for ADAs. Mark Posner was dumped there for using his work phone to contact prostitutes. Barbara, is an educator who worked her way through Touro’s Law Center as a part-time student. Nobody knows exactly what she did, but on August 5th, Deputy District Attorney Dino G. Amoroso sent her an initialed memo:
Effective August 6, 2013, you are transferred to the Early Case Assessment Bureau [ECAB] at 120 Schermerhorn Street, 4th floor. Please report to Teresa Shanahan at 9:00 a.m. that date for details of your assignment.
Another employee, Jonah Bruno, was also reassigned, but his reassignment is temporary based on the message on his voice mail. It may be related to his law school studies. In contrast, Ms. Burke’s directory listing has her in ECAB. Normally, temporary ECAB assignments are not reflected in the directory.
On the day she was reassigned she spent her last few hours in the press office, probably meeting with Jerry Schmetterer. I assume he was trying to get her to stick to some narrative if contacted by either Rudin or the press. Perhaps he was trying to debrief previous actions and knowledge of Ms. Burke to assess potential PR risks. The normally very composed Barbara Burke was seen crying.
I have no reason to believe Barbara Burke was leaking to the press. I believe she is loyal to office of the DA because she does not yet realize the extent to which problematic directives come from the very top for corrupt political motives. But darn, she is ethical and that is a problem at the Brooklyn DA. Worse still, from the point of view of the District Attorney, I believe she would honestly answer questions if placed under oath, unlike Michael Vecchione.
I am investigating other allegations about employees getting in trouble for being ethical.
Meanwhile, keep the tips coming. You can join my crowd sourcing effort by contacting me privately by one of the methods detailed on the upper right of all my web pages. I protect all my sources and no one has ever gotten in trouble for helping me.