Last week, Charles Hynes was dithering, yet again, about whether he would actively campaign on the Republican and Conservative lines in the November Election for Brooklyn District Attorney. However, officially he was still sticking to his latest pronouncement that he would not campaign. Some folks were hoping he would stick to primary night concession speech promise that he would cooperate in a smooth transition. Instead, yesterday, through his office’s former press flack turned campaign spokesman, Jerry Schmetterer, he let it be known he would actively campaign.
The Honorable Barry Kamins is the Administrative Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York. As such, he is responsible for its orderly operation. Since the DA is one of the parties in criminal cases it makes sense for Judge Kamins to coordinate his efforts with the DA.
Last week, Judge Kamins met for lunch with Kenneth Thompson to discuss coordination of administrative arrangements. Judge Kamins was getting a head start. He had every right to believe he was dealing with the next DA because Hynes made an election night promise not to to campaign on the Republican or Conservative line. I suspect Kamins would not have taken this step if it appeared he was taking sides in an upcoming election. How was he supposed to know that Hynes would yet again break his election night promise to cooperate with Thompson on an orderly transition?
Once again, Hynes’ selfish egoism is getting in the way or his public responsibilities. I can only hope the employees of the Office of the Kings County District Attorney (KCDA) have finally learned to tune out the erratic mixed signals coming from Hynes and his incompetent audio engineers.
Speaking of lousy signals, using Jerry Schmetterer as a campaign spokesperson is good new for Thompson. For years Jerry has been snubbing reporters who did not completely toe the Hynes line. He simply would not answer emails or calls from some very important reporters. He lied to some others. Still, reporters had to deal with him because he was the gatekeeper for news from KCDA and that is an important beat.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. Good luck to Jerry in getting his phone calls answered. You can be sure he will not be able to plant any stories that reporters cannot independently verify. Even his flunky, Daily News courthouse reporter Oren Yaniv is dancing to a different drummer since the election. At this point, only the New York Post is shilling for Hynes with a drumbeat of dubious stories about Thompson: this because he has justifiably sued them on behalf of his clients. Jerry should just install a one number line to the NY Post and use his free time to look for his next job. He will not have an easy time. He was an OK reporter whose skills are rusty, who is ignorant of social media developments, and is in ill repute in journalistic circles.
His usual lunch buddy is Michael Vecchione, the albatross around Hynes’ neck that helped sink him in the Democratic primary. Some people believe Hynes will finally fire Vecchione since he has good reason to believe Vecchione repeatedly lied to him about a number of key cases and led him into embarrassing moments on the campaign trail. If Vecchione is fired, it will be fun to watch Schmetterer try to squirm his way out of reporter’s questions.
Stay tuned for synopses of episodes in the real Brooklyn DA show which is now plummeting in the ratings.