According to Josh Saul in this morning’s New York Post:
The Brooklyn DA’s controversial rackets chief [Michael Vecchione] oversaw a training session in which prosecutors were told not to make written records of early interviews with sex-trafficking victims — so the information could be withheld from defense attorneys, law-enforcement sources told The Post……
“When these girls first come in, they often deny they have been hit or pimped. We were told not to write down those statements,” a law-enforcement source said. “The clear inference by everybody in that room was that we were being told not to write down the statements so that we would not have to turn them over.”
Two other law-enforcement sources confirmed that account of the training. After the training session angered many rackets attorneys, who thought they were being told to act unethically by withholding evidence, a remedial training session was held to walk back the instructions.
I reported this story July 6th, with the title, Mikey, We Hardly Knew Ye! Where Has Your Memory Gone? The crux of the story is that Michael Vecchione appears to have committed perjury when he denied remembering that training session. Josh Saul is to be commended for finding the sources to further confirm the story and for getting a more detailed description of the infamous training session.
That session matters because Jabbar Collins has a lawsuit about his wrongful conviction by the Brooklyn DA for murdering Abraham Pollock. That conviction, which the courts overturned, cost this innocent man almost two decades in jail. His attorney, Joel Rudin, is trying to establish that Mr. Collin’s wrongful conviction was not merely an accident, but a result of training and supervision at the Brooklyn DA that made such outcomes likely. Hence the importance of what happened at training sessions. Vecchione is especially important because he was the ADA in charge of Mr. Collins’ prosecution.
According to the NY Post story, DA spokesman, Jerry Schmetterer, says, “Nothing wrong happened at that meeting.” In contrast, chief ADA, Amy Feinstein sticks to speaking about official policy and is not quoted defending that particular training meeting. I think Vecchione would have loved a Feinstein defense of his conduct. Unlike Schmetterer, she cannot defend herself down the line by saying” my boss told me that, and I passed it along as I got it.” As I reported, she tried to undo the harm of that session.
Because it appeared in the mainstream media, this story is a bombshell. There will be more pressure on Charles Hynes to force Vecchione to resign. The already shabby ethical reputation of the Brooklyn DA has just gotten shabbier. I suspect that my earlier version of this story is one of the main reasons the DA had Frum Follies blocked by his computer filters. The fact that Josh Saul had three “law enforcement” sources talk to him about this session is yet more evidence that DA employees are rebelling against Hynes and leaking information which will hurt his reelection prospects.
This may all seem like a case of legal quibbling. But remember, Abraham Pollack was murdered in cold blood. Because of Vecchione’s misconduct at the time, the wrong man, Jabbar Collins, went to jail, and the actual murderer was never prosecuted. Abraham Pollack’s blood still cries out for justice.
In this political season, the Jabbar Collins lawsuit matters for both orthodox-Jewish and African-American voters. Jews see that Hynes gulled them when he made believe he was prosecuting the murderer of Pollack. African American voters see that Hynes is indifferent to the plight of falsely accused African American defendants.