Hynes Violated NYC Ethics Law Using DA Staff for Personal Legal Work

Back in 2011, Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz got caught using his staff to do his personal work. Specifically, top aide, Carlo Scissura worked as his unpaid lawyer in a real estate transaction. The Daily News “Bestowed upon him [Markowitz] a New York Knucklehead Award. Now, pleading ignorance of the law, Markowitz has settled with the Conflicts of Interest Board by paying a $2,000 fine.”

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles (Joe) Hynes is the county’s highest law enforcement officer. He definitely should know better than knucklehead Markowitz. Yet, he assigned Power of Attorney (POA) to ADA Dino Amoroso in December 12, 2001 in order to effect a number of real estate transactions (See copies of relevant sections of POA document below)

While the POA below is one that is on the public record, Amoroso also worked on behalf Hynes back in November 25, 1996 to obtain financing from the Ridgewood Savings Bank for their coop on 216-35 12th Avenue, Rockaway Point Queens. He is also on record for several other mortgage deals for Joe and Pat Hynes.

By the way, Dino Amoroso is in charge of evaluating and disciplining staff for unethical or illegal conduct. He is also in charge of the DA’s responses to the Jabbar Collins suit which alleges the DA violated his constitutional rights by its negligent attention to defendant rights including failing to discipline employees who violated defendant rights. Dino swears, like Joe Hynes, that Michael Vecchione, the ADA who led the Collins prosecution is very, very ethical. How would Dino know?

One other thing I wonder about. Hynes has to live in Brooklyn to be Brooklyn DA and to vote in Brooklyn. Yet he lists a Queens address on his POA. I will bet John K. O’Hara has a few thoughts about that, as the man Hynes prosecuted for voting from an address a few blocks from where Hynes claimed O’Hara lived.

Details will follow in subsequent posts as well as revelations of additional legal irregularities.

[Note- if you are having trouble reading the documents below, click on them to open them separately.]

Joe Hynes POA part 1

Joe Hynes POA part 2

Joe Hynes POA part 3

Hynes 96 mortgage on Breezy

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30 thoughts on “Hynes Violated NYC Ethics Law Using DA Staff for Personal Legal Work

  1. Just like Jewish hoidays are sometimes pushed off, Hynes made sure to push these trials off, first till after the September 10th primary and then again till after the November election. Kellner’s trial is now scheduled for November 12th, at which point the DA will drop the charges because all of his witnesses have pulled out. Lebovits is scheduled for another appearance on November 13 but everyone expects the DA to postpone it again. But I don’t know for sure. I expect Hynes no longer cares about Satmar since they endorsed Thompson but the case has also gotten complicated because the witness has received a settlement but it is in escrow in Israel. Still the witness is techically free to testify. There is also more evidence that wasn’t used in the first trial that might be used now. Lebovits will accept a plea bargain where he pleads guilty and gets off with time served. The prosecution till now has talked about a plea bargain of 7 years.

  2. Wait a second – are you saying that the Lebovitz victim has taken a settlement?! If so, say goodbye to that criminal case! I suppose that you’ll blame Hynes for this one, though.

    • The agreement stipulates he is free to testify and he was represented by highly respected legal expert on ethics. Moreover, a jury, if he testifies would probably consider the payment an indication of guilt. What he will do in front of a jury is anyone’s guess. My guess, is that he will use the freedom he has to testify. But time will tell.

      And yes, Hynes personally met with the attorney in question, a courtesy he does not extend to the attorneys of most victims or to the victims themselves, least of all, when a case is still pending. But Hynes always finds time to meet victims and their representatives when the defendant is represented by Artie aidala. Coincidence? I think, not!

      • Lopin, this response is either incredibly naive or purposefully designed to obscure. Since you’ve never shown yourself to be naive, it must be the latter. It doesn’t matter if the settlement allows the victim to testify as per its strict construction. In the real world, once a victim takes a settlement it means that he is satisfied and wants to be done with this. The last thing he’ll want now is another trial! Come on man, just say it. For once, admit the obvious. The Lebovitz case is now DOA.

        • No. A financial settlement does not prove one is satisfied. In fact, to the contrary, it suggests to a jury that the defendant must have been guilty of something and just struck the deal because the price beat the likely cost at a later date.

    • There is no doubting that this looks bad. In the context of this blog, no one will believe that Hynes can act properly on cases that involve an attorney who is actively supporting his re-election campaign. But consider this: didn’t Hynes try and convict Lebovitz once already? Didn’t Lebovitz get 30+ years in prison? I know that the case was reversed on appeal but that doesn’t change the prior facts. I also have disputed on these pages how other cases of Aidala’s got “special treatment,” because there is no evidence that they ever did – the victims backed away on some of them, as they often do on these Hasidic cases. None of this makes the appearance more palatable but there has to be evidence of special favor before you can condemn Hynes or Aidala as fixers. If anything, Lopin has often written about how ADA’s in the office scoff at Aidala – his relationship with the DA doesn’t get him anywhere with them.

      • You can find someone repellant but still put the fix in when ordered to by your superiors. What is worse, dissenting by memorandum is against the no-documentation ethos of KCDA. So, bad orders come from on top, but the sap subordinate is left holding the bag when a case goes south.

        • Herein lies the key flaw with your entire position: no subordinate in Sex Crimes has ever been “ordered by superiors” to dump a viable case! Name ONE such “subordinate”! You can’t and won’t. I’m sure there have been times when a line ADA was ordered to lower a high prison offer a bit, based on the overall circumstances of a case, but that’s very different from DUMPING a case (e.g. giving probation on a case that deserves substantial prison time, or dismissing a case claiming that the victim is uncooperative when’s in fact, they are not). Your failure to point to one such subordinate receiving any such “order” kills everything you’ve been saying.

          Conway – that is how I can argue with that.

          • If Conway really worked in KCDA he knows that orders often do not come in writing. Moreover, dissent is not expressed in writing, if you want to stay in the good graces of the powers-that-be. So, when Thompson comes in and begins to investigate cases handled poorly he will have to look for inexplicable failures and infer either orders or astounding incompetence. Scattered through this blog are a number of allegations of improper orders or inexplicable failures such as the 6 month sentence for Menachem Deutsch who was represented by Aidala and whose victim was treated to a one on one with Joe Hynes to sell a lousy plea bargain.

      • >his relationship with the DA doesn’t get him anywhere with them.

        Apparently it keeps damning evidence out of the trial.

        http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york-news/new-lebovits-revelation-retrial-nears

        A “notorious” alleged chasidic sex abuser, who was sentenced to up to 32 years in jail but got that verdict overturned because of a prosecution violation, has all but admitted on tape to sexually abusing the young man who testified against him, The Jewish Week has learned.
        The tape, according to police documents, was made under the supervision of NYPD Det. Steve Litwin in September 2008 and captures a secretly recorded conversation between Baruch Lebovits and one of his alleged victims. The tape was translated from the Yiddish — both apparently informally and by a certified translator — into English for the prosecution.
        It was not, however, introduced at Lebovits’ 2010 trial. (Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has pledged to retry Lebovits and his next court date is scheduled for Nov. 19.)

        • You have no idea why that happened, or whether there was a legally sound reason or not. In the absence of knowledge, you insert nefarious conclusions. Worse, you then connect it to the supposition that it was the relationship between the defendant’s attorney and Hynes that led the trial ADA (Miss Gregory) to purposefully bury helpful evidence. Absurd! Do you even listen to how cuckoo this sounds?

  3. What “legally sound reason” was there to suppress such a damning tape?

    Hynes and his office have pressured survivors of abuse in the orthodox community for decades to accept the most outrageous plea agreements that let orthodox pedophiles serve no jail time and not be on the public registry of sex offenders. From Rabbi Lewis/Lippa Brenner to Rabbi Kolko that’s how its been. It doesn’t matter if the survivors cooperate (in the Kolko and Brenner cases they were willing to testify). It doesn’t matter if Hynes has a confession (in the Brenner case he had). Hynes allows the fixers and spinners to work their magic and get the same deal Hynes’ pal convicted/confessed child rapist Eugene Gold (confessed to multiple assaults) no time. I don’t sound half as cuckoo as when you defend Hynes for bringing a convicted/confessed child rapist to Hynes’ inauguration as district attorney and for Hynes’ publicly connecting this child rapist with the concept of justice.

    Hynes must go.

  4. Truther, it’s not cuckoo. It’s called drawing an inference. As JWB says, why would a prosecutor not use that evidence? Assuming the evidence was admissible, which inference seems more likely: that the prosecutor was completely incompetent, or there was improper influence? As an ex-ADA, as I believe you claim to be, maybe you have some suggestions pointing to an innocent explanation? And if you do, why don’t you share them with Ms. Winston and the Jewish Week?

  5. Kevin – since I don’t have intimate knowledge of the Lebovitz case, all I can do is share the sum total of my vast experience in similar matters. There are untold numbers of situations where evidentiary decisions are made that don’t make complete “sense” to lay-people. These decisions, in my experience, have nothing to do with politics or favors, but with legal and/or tactical considerations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen such decisions misinterpreted by lay people because they just can’t appreciate the very complex legal issues involved. That being said, I know that there is just no way to conclude that this issue with the tape was made with anything more than an arguably valid legal reason. There certainly isn’t any evidence to the contrary, other than rote speculation. Add to that the fact that Miss Gregory, a devoted and conscientious career prosecutor (who is not by any means a Hynes robot) tried the case, and I think it’s more than likely that this decision was based on a sound legal reason (e.g. The tape wasn’t as conclusive as this blog makes it sound, or it wasn’t even as it this blog purports it to be). Show me something contrary and we’ll talk. Until then, there is no persuasive reason to think it was a nefarious decision, and no matter what, it is simply cuckoo to think that Miss Gregory cooked the case because Hynes and Aidala are friends. Absolutely absurd!

    • Truther- I am a former prosecutor with far, far more experience than you based upon what you have stated on these blogs and based upon what I perceive as a lack of access to the true going-ons in the office. There would be no legal impediment to the use of a defendants statement on the People’s direct case. You should know this. What possible legal impediment have you ever heard of to the People putting in a statement of a defendant on their direct case? The ONLY possible exception I can think of in this case is if the tape was not authenticated. That seems unlikely as a NYPD officer set up the sting operation. Now if the DA’s office made a tactic me decision to not admit the tape into evidence, that is another story.

      Please tell me that they did not lose the tape? We’re no copies made? Sloppy to say the least.

      • If the original was lost, it probably happened when being passed through the hands of Henna White, KCDA’s Jewish Liaison (aka fixer), who did handle evidence though she has no formal prosecution role (and doesn’t even have a B.A. to justify her ~$140k salary). However, because of various redundancies in handling and copying an electronic file which was transcribed, I doubt the electronic recording was lost, though the chain of evidence documentatation may have been messed up. At a minimum, someone has to explain why the recording was never turned over to the defense.

        • If Hanna handled that tape at all, that is pretty outrageous. She is supposed to be the DA’s liaison to the Jewish community, not a fixer!! There would be no reason at all for her to even listen to such a tape or come into possession of said tape. If there were in fact chain of custody issues, you can bet that Det. Litwin had nothing to do with it. He’s very thorough. Honestly, this all sickens me.

        • Just one more thing, if the DA’s office failed to serve notice to the defense that they were in possession of such a recording within 15 days of the defendant’s arraignment, they would be precluded from using the statement on their direct case. They could however still cross-examine the defendant with respect to the statement should he take the stand. I’m not aware if the defendant took the stand or not at trial. This might explain why it was not used at trial. Perhaps they were precluded.

  6. Disgusted, you are exhibiting amateurish naïveté. You don’t have a working knowledge of the arrest to arraignment process (as I explained in a previous post, you were wrong about and unaware of how it really works), and now you’ve simplified the issue of the tape down to only one possibility: that a “legal impediment” had to exist in order for Miss Gregory to refrain from using it. Of course this isn’t the only possibility. With these limitations on your analytical abilities, how much “experience” can you possibly have? Let me spoon feed this to you: when I say there was likely a “sound legal reason” for Miss’ decision, I mean that the decision was not motivated by some improper or illegal purpose (e.g. “Fixing” the case so the conviction could later be overturned on appeal). I do not mean that only a technical legal flaw could explain why Miss didn’t use it. Did you consider the possibility that the tape isn’t what this guy Lopin purports it to be? What if it wasn’t as damning as he says, or if the translation he describes isn’t reality? Were you a very experienced prosecutor who never made a tactical decision? Come on. You sound like a smart guy who had more than a couple of years on the job. Use your brain. The only information you have about this tape is from a Frum Follies description, and you’re accepting it as fact?? And you’re even considering the possibility that Henna was permitted to handle the tape, or any other kind of evidence for that matter? And you’re entertaining the notion that Miss inserted a time bomb into her trial case on purpose, so Lebovitz would later win his appeal – all because Aidala was his lawyer and he has an unholy relationship with Hynes? My God! You’ve been the one disputing Lopin’s trash talk about line ADA’s dumping cases for political reasons, but now you’re jumping on the bandwagon here and inferring the most nefarious possible explanation on an issue for which you have no personal knowledge??? Shame on you.

    • I dont have a working knowledge of he arrest and arraignment process? Lol I think not. It is you that has not a clue of much about which you speak. I asked you a simple question-one for which you have no response because there is no other explanation. You quite feebly attempted to convince the readers of this blog that there could possibly be some heretofore unknown legal reason as to why the DA’s office did not admit the tape into evidence. I merely pointed out what any second-rate trial attorney should know- there would be no legal impediment absent relevance and lack of authenticity. Moreover, your drivel and apparent lack of reading comprehension skills aside, I did offer up another possibility. I specifically mentioned that they could have made a tactile decision. None of this is the point however. The point is this, IF the tape purports to say what has been stated and was not used and IF the tape was indeed lost and/or the defense never given notice of its existence in a timely fashion that would allow its use on the People’s direct case, there is a serious problem here. I cast no dispersions on Miss as a person as she is a lovely lady. I also doubt that she would deliberately engage in any wrongdoing. However, if what has been said is true, sloppiness seemed to rule the day with respect to this case.

      As for me disputing that these cases are dumped for political reasons, I’ve stated no such thing. In fact, I’ve said quite the opposite. I’ve told you once but it bears repeating. I speak of what I know- not what I’ve heard. They absolutely do dump cases for political reasons in the office. What is also true is that not every case dumped is dumped for political reasons. They are dumped because Rhonnie can’t be assured of a conviction. That remains true whether the orthodox community is involved or not and I believe will be true under Thompson too. Its the nature of these cases.

  7. If I had the time, I would find your earlier post about dumping cases. I recall you very clearly saying that cases were dumped because of the weakness of the cases, and the corresponding risk of losing. And I agreed with you that this was rampant under Jaus and that it was wrong. I do not recall you stating that ADA’s dumped cases for political reasons, such as Hynes wanting to placate rabbis and thus pressuring Jaus, who then directed line ADA’s to dump the cases (and, by “dump,” I mean take a viable case with a prison offer and make it probation, or dismiss a case by claiming, falsely, that the complainant was uncooperative). The only “dumping” I recall you criticizing was the dumping of a difficult case to win. I also recall you saying that the Sex Crimes ADA’s were hard working, well meaning people who didn’t engage in the political dumping I mentioned above. Am I recalling all of this incorrectly???

    Next, of course, IF the tape in the Lebovitz case contained clearly inculpatory evidence and IF it was inexcusably ignored, then OBVIOUSLY it would indicate sloppiness at the least and impropriety at worst. We don’t need a Captain Obvious to say as much. What we need are experienced people like yourself to explain how jumping to the harshest conclusion because it fits the conspiratorial narrative of this blog is foolish. Rather, people like you are supposed to describe how and why the actual explanation is usually sensible and understandable, and at worst, how sloppiness may sometimes be at fault (as you seem to be already saying). But don’t sit there and try to say that this is what you’ve been doing – the language and tone of your posts supports the Lopin theory that the otherwise-lawful and damning tape was deliberately left out in order to build in an appeal for Aidala to later exploit. Maybe you don’t realize it, but by failing to challenge Lopin on this, you support him.

    Lastly, don’t take my word for it on the arraignment process point, and certainly don’t be too proud of your own knowledge of the subject. You stated earlier that ECAB was involved all the way through. You’re wrong. Once the file leaves ECAB and hits the police room, it’s a PD issue again. Some Hasids get sped through the system by the contacts within the PD that the rabbis (like Tzvi Gluck) somehow have, in the same manner as “walk throughs” (which are supposed to be done on a limited basis, for medical cases or high profile defendants, etc.). I’ve conducted thousands of arraignments. This is all common knowledge.

    • Truther,

      You are all over the place. You do seem to be raising unjustified speedy processing of ultra orthodox Jews through arraignment courtesy of Zvi Gluck and others. You correctly state this should be reserved for medical cases and a few other exceptional circumstances. I agree. Alternatively, arraignment should be sped up for almost everyone, except a few exceptional cases.

      • Yeah, I know it’s a bit off topic, but Disgusted is a good source of info and perspective, so I want to help with some issues if I can. And I couldn’t agree with you more here. The Zvi Gluck expediting process is abhorrent and leaves everyone in the system with a bad taste about Orthodox Jews – as if we need to give people even more reason to hate us.

    • Truther- your first paragraph does pretty well sum up what I have said. However, that is not what you said in your earlier post. You clearly stated that I agreed that cases are not dumped for political reasons. I NEVER said that. What I said is what I stated last night. Cases are “dumped” because they are weak and/or can’t guarantee Sex Crimes a conviction. They are also dumped for political reasons. Do I believe they are dumped for political reasons in the majority if cases- no. However, they are indeed dumped from time to time for political reasons. The great shame of that bureau is that they are dumped because of fear of an acquittal and they absolutely do talk victims out of prosecuting for this very reason. Even the good ADA’s. People are so scared to lose that they have bought into Rhonnies rationale for not trying these cases hook, line and sinker. It happens ALL of the time. I would dare say practically day in and day out in that Bureau.

      Your issue with me is that you can’t box me in a corner. I do not think the DA is the monster that he is sometimes painted as, but I also know that he is far from innocent. I know all too well that much of what he does is motivated by political gain. I also know that he is a loyal man and has unfortunately remained loyal to the wrong people in my opinion. I speak the truth as I know it, nothing more, nothing less.

      As for how arraignments proceed, you are wrong when you state that DA involvement ends once the case is processed in ECAB. You are also sugar-coating the importance of how fast a case gets through ECAB in how fast it is arraigned. Let me break it down to you as to how things go in the Brooklyn DA’s office. When an Hasid is arrested- the ADA’s are put on HIGH alert. They are informed that the case must be processed quickly. As you are well aware, a case can’t be processed and a Defendant can’t be arraigned but for the completion of the criminal court complaint. Absent intervention at the ECAB stage by the DA’s office, these cases would not be processed as fast as they are. You correctly state that once processed it then goes back into the Court system for processing and seemingly the DA’s office no longer has any involvement. This is where you are either being disingenuous or lack common knowledge. ECAB will then call over to the senior ADA in arraignments and inform them that a Hasid case is coming through. Said assistant will then inform the Clerk and do everything in their power to make sure that they process that case expeditiously, ahead of all others. THAT is the truth as to what happens post-ECAB. The calls from the rabbis have been made long before the actual body gets to the arraignments part. This system of processing Hasids could not work unless both the DA’s office and the PD worked hand in hand- which they do.

      As for my alleged obligation to state what might be sensible, I have tried to do that. The point you miss however, is that much of what has gone on is not sensible, defies logic and is without legitimate explanation.

  8. It is time for associates of the corrupt Hynes regime to run not walk to the office of the New York State’s Attorney General and the Feds and start cutting deals. The clock is ticking:

    1) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/nyregion/charles-hynes-brooklyn-district-attorney-inquiry.html
    Ex-Brooklyn Prosecutor Charles J. Hynes Accused of Misuse of Funds
    By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUMJUNE 2, 2014

    2) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/03/nyregion/03brooklyn.html?_r=0
    The New York City Department of Investigation’s Findings on Charles J. Hynes
    The inquiry included the review of about 6,000 emails sent to or from Mr. Hynes’s official email address for the 18-month period before the 2013 general election. JUNE 2, 2014

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