Brooklyn DA Is Scared by Latest Subpoena in Collins Lawsuit

ADA Barbara Burke

ADA Barbara Burke

On Wednesday, August 15, Joel Rudin, the attorney for Jabbar Collins, served a subpoena on ADA Barbara Burke, the employee of the Brooklyn DA who was mysteriously and abruptly transferred from her work on the Collins lawsuit, to a dead-end job. A source told me it was because she was insisting on being ethical. Rudin seems to share that view.

The subpoena is scaring the top brass at the Brooklyn DA. Sources tell me that ADA Burke met with Deputy District Attorney, Dino Amoroso, and Jerry Schmetterer, Director of Public Information. This is a lot of executive attention for an employee in the doghouse.

The Collins lawsuit is a hot potato this political season. It came up during the recent debate between Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes and his challenger in the September primary, attorney Kenneth Thompson.

According the New York Times reporter, Michael Powell:

The problem for Mr. Hynes is that he keeps doubling down as his narratives get overturned. Two months ago, a top aide and close friend of the district attorney, the rackets chief Michael Vecchione, sat for a deposition brought by a man, Jabbar Collins, who had served 16 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

Mr. Vecchione, who is accused of withholding crucial evidence in that case, suffered a catastrophic memory loss. In that deposition, he offered at least 380 variations on “I do not recall.”

He did not remember details of a 2012 meeting, in which he and the sex crimes chief advised prosecutors not to write down conflicting statements by sex workers as they often defend their pimps at first.

This led to a great uproar, as prosecutors argued this would violate their legal responsibility to turn exculpatory comments over to defense lawyers.

The New York Post confirmed the meeting had taken place. Another person told me that as well. “I guess there was a spirited back and forth,” Amy Feinstein, a top deputy, said in an interview on Wednesday.

Is Mr. Hynes concerned, I asked, that Mr. Vecchione can remember nothing of it?

“You’re asking me to speculate,” said another top deputy, Dino Amoroso.

Mr. Hynes in fact vigorously defends Mr. Vecchione.

Hynes is doubling down on the narrative but his staff isn’t sticking to the party line. Chief Assistant District Attorney Amy Feinstein usually avoids talking to reporters. Normally, Deputy District Attorney Dino Amoroso, who has a key role in managing the DA’s response to the Collins lawsuit, would refuse to talk to the NY Times unless he could say something supportive of Vecchione. Yet now he talks. Granted he refused to “speculate.” Still, this is less than the spirited defense one expects.

Attempts will be made to quash the subpoena. If they fail, they might advise ADA Burke to emulate Michael Vecchione who “suffered a case of amnesia” and claimed he “couldn’t recall aspects of the case 324 times over five hours.”

Unfortunately for the DA, Barbara Burke probably remembers misconduct they would rather erase from the record. I am guessing she also has the good legal judgment to secure her own counsel to deal with a deposition or a potential unfair personnel decision to sanction or fire her.

However much the office of the DA wants to erase any memory of that infamous session with Lauren Hersh, facts are stubborn things and feigned amnesia will be overtaken by indelible memory.

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11 thoughts on “Brooklyn DA Is Scared by Latest Subpoena in Collins Lawsuit

  1. The Office has been reduced to a Keystone Cops criminal enterprise run by a thin skinned thug and his lying Capo.

    Send Hynes home to his gated apartheid Queens home for good. He has no business crossing the county line into Brooklyn.

  2. It’s going to be pretty funny to see what you write when Burke is deposed and this all turns out to be much ado about nothing. i’m sure that if she she testifies that she didn’t observe any misconduct, you’ll probably say that she was coerced into lying. But that will be pretty hard for you to credibly say, since you’ve been insisting that she was transferred because she refused to act in any way “unethical.”. Hmmm. We’ll see what happens.

    And by the way, in yet another wild twisting of facts, you are so completely wrong to suggest that there is “a lot of executive attention” and that the “top brass” is “scared” simply because Dino and Jerry met with Burke about this. Any time an ADA is subpoenaed in a lawsuit against the office, and that lawsuit is high profile, the office is going to prep for the response with the ADA, the office’s counsel (Dino) and press chief (Jerry). This would be expected to happen in any office, any company, etc. Wow, reading into this one and writing a story about it really shows how little news you actually have to report.

    • Truther, be careful of under estimating this. Much ado about nothing? I’m not so sure. I’m told by sources she is completely distraught and had a meltdown in ECAB. How do you account for a respected principled ADA being transferred under those circumstances? Or is this just the way Joe Hynes treats his loyal workers? Or is it because she’s dirt poor needs the job and they know it? Everyone of you on 17 (your on 17 too right) knows she was being mentored by McCarthy to do his work. So they throw her into ecab and tell her to report within 24 hours while she is in the middle of writing a document to submit to a judge’s law clerk? Yeah, that reaks something. I hope she is deposed and gets her own lawyer. Maybe she will tell of all the work she has done to show her loyalty to Joe Hynes. I hear theres a lot of it.

    • Truther:

      Much ado about nothing? I think not. Some Googling reveals that Barbara A. Burke Samide has much expertise on wrongful convictions and as importantly is a woman with integrity. (See the link below.) I doubt she’ll lie to protect Hynes and Company. The Goon Squad is doomed and none too soon.

      http://works.bepress.com/barbara_burke1/

  3. Truther,

    Were you at the debate last night? Do you think the Boss can get away with his endless contradictory lies when he’s under oath and being questioned by a skilled attorney with facts and evidence to shove in the Bosses face? He’s doomed and he knows it. His goon squad is following him around like a security detail except that there’s nothing they can do to protect him and themselves from the exposure and humiliation (and possible even worse) that is coming at them like a runaway train.

    So regardless of who wins the election the Boss and his goons are cooked.

    And none too soon.

    Enjoy the coming attractions. Good thing we have ringside seats.

    (Oh, is your name “Truther” a play on “Birther”? Because you certainly sound like one of them.)

  4. I certainly don’t know the real story about Burke’s situation, but since nearly all of this site’s speculations turn out to be nothing more than wishful slighted theory, and because I’ve seen so many situations like Burke’s have meanings other than the nefarious, I am very skeptical that your predictions will come true. Let’s see how it plays out. If I’m proven wrong, I’ll admit it.

    And yes, I did see the debate (the one at St. Francis). Thompson is a very convincing speaker and he’s much smoother than Hynes, who is temperamental and, thus, a poor debater. However, on the facts, Thompson was pathetic. He relied on innuendo and emotional appeals rather than actual truth. Examples: accusing Hynes of creating innovative programs in “the 90’s” and needing to do something new for a change – total nonsense, as Hynes continues to create new, first of their kind programs through this very day, which continue to be adopted by offices all over the country (latest example: Drew House. Watch for other offices to replicate it going forward. Project Redirect – another amazing, fairly recent program for gang violence. The list goes on and on). Next, accusing Hynes of ignoring the problem of over-imprisonment: no DA in the COUNTRY has done more to keep defendants out of prison, especially young Black and Hispanic kids, through all his alternatives to prison programs and intense involvement with community service organizations, as well as his re-entry program for inmates reintegrating into society once they get out. The latter has brought recidivism rates down to the single digits. NO ONE else has done that. These are just a couple of really easy examples showing how Thompson ignores the actual facts on the ground.

    I’m sure that you’ll now accuse me of being a Hynes staffer or groupie. No, what I actually am is a criminal practitioner who has had dozens of clients who have benefitted from these programs. No other county offers such a wide range of them, and they are crucial to crime PREVENTION, as opposed to just prosecution. Are there any lawyers among you who disagree???

    But here’s what really gets me, as an attorney and a criminal law specialist: Thompson derides Hynes for “refusing to investigate his buddy, Vito Lopez.” This supposedly shows how Hynes is corrupt. I know that this topic will be hard for lay voters to understand, because it sounds so good when Thompson says it, but here’s the truth: no DA can EVER investigate a person with whom they have a personal or campaign relationship. It’s called a conflict of interest. It’s illegal and unethical. Lopez was a friend of Hynes who supported his reelection campaign and contributed money to him. Do you really think that Hynes could then possibly conduct an impartial investigation into Lopez’s misconduct once it became known what the allegations were against him??? If he tried, everyone would (rightfully) scream bloody murder about how Hynes was taking care of his buddy by keeping the investigation in house, likely to sweep it under the rug. Now, had Hynes sat on the case after the sex allegations were made, trying to let it die or go away, then he would have been wrong. By he didn’t – he immediately presented his conflict to the chief judge, who agreed that Hynes couldn’t conduct the investigation due to the conflict and assigned the case to the Staten Island DA. Period. There is nothing more to this story – for any lawyer who knows the law, that is. Thompson apparently isn’t one of those. This is the kind of thing that a kid right out of law school knows. How dare Tompson twist it to suit his political agenda and dupe unknowing lay voters???

    Thompson claims that he wants an “independent” prosecutor to be the Brooklyn DA. If he’s going to keep for himself cases against his good friends and contributors when they get into trouble, is that the kind of “independent” DA that you want??? Are we just supposed to “trust” that he’ll be objective when he has a blatant conflict of interest? If your answer is yes, then you need to be more honest with yourself.

    • I am delighted to see that the Hynes campaign is desperately spending money on you and your sort to refute this blog. I feel honored just as I was honored to know my blog is blocked by his IT department. If you insist otherwise, just get Jerry Schmetterer to tell a journalist that is not true. That will provoke howls of laughter inside the KCDA and will get me some more leaks.

      I am not willing to waste my time replying to you. I am too busy processing multiple hot new tips. The office is disgorging them faster than a one-armed bandit in a Las Vegas casino for a lucky gambler.

      Truther, it is too bad there is no “Truth in Advertising” law covering your choice of pseudonym.

      Truther, here is some free advice. Make plans for livelihood in the post-Hynes era. Even Hyne’s opportunistic supporters are jumping ship in anticipation of his defeat. His political career has one foot in the grave and the other on a scandal greased banana peel. Careful, or else you will fall in behind him.

      Ta Ta For Now

      • Don’t forget that 5WPR was caught red handed working blogs to propagandise on behalf of their client Agriprocessors. It would be hilarious if those same fools are in the employ of Hynes. Ron & Juda, is that you playing “Truther”?

    • Re. Vito. Everyone in Brooklyn knew he was dirty. The New York Post reported as much. A clean DA avoids being in relationships that require him to end up appointing special prosecutors. Hynes is thick-as-thieves with tons of unsavory characters and connections such as the Quirks. Not only has he turned his office into an employment agency for them. He even has Suzie Quirk handling all hiring. I am sure that more will come out about that and it won’t look good. Stay tuned.

    • Let’s cut through your desperate dissembling and focus on the frightening number of innocent people Hynes has locked up and still insists are guilty despite all the evidence to the contrary.

      For this alone Hynes, Vecchione and the rest of the Goon Squad running the office should be run out of town.

      Add to the mix Hynes’ and White’s treatment of Orthodox sex abuse cases and it’s no wonder many of us see red everytime we see Hynes.

      This is what happens when a prosecutor becomes a corrupt politician. Of course Hynes introduced progressive programs that have helped many. And Hynes way well have been a decent DA before he became a corrupt hack. But (and sincerest apologies for this crude but accurate comparison) while Hitler built the Autobahn this is not what he’s most remembered for.

  5. It’s so hard for you to believe that I’m not a Hynes staffer and that most of what you say is nonsense. Fine, there is little use in debating. I will still occasionally weigh in with inconvenient facts, but I know it won’t change your mind. Maybe one or two people reading this will decide not to swallow your leaps of illogic whole, though.

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