Three of Hynes’ top Brooklyn DA executives are retiring with combined payments for unused vacation
and sick leave approaching $900,00 according to a reliable source. In addition to Michael Vecchione, whose package of approximately $230,000 $286,000, the other beneficiaries are John O’Mara and Dino Amoroso. Ann Swern opted out and is hoping to stay on with the Thompson administration. She was seen attending one of the meet and greets that Thompson hosted at his law offices. These payments have to be approved. I will concede that Vechhione has a reputation for being there every day and he may have accrued more than a year of unused vacation and sick time. I do not have any idea how valid these payouts are for the other two. As always, the benefits of loyalty to Hynes are distributed very unevenly. The ADAs who do the grunt work are lucky to get cost of living increases, but his top executives get pay very close to the maximum earned by Hynes himself.
Vecchione had a going away party at 4:00 on Thursday the 12th. In attendance, among others were Josh Hanashek and Monique Ferrel, the unlucky Chief Counsel of the Rackets Division who did the last Hynes-era appearance in the Kellner case. She failed to turn over some materials ordered by the judge at the previous appearance. I hear that she has since been working at responding to some of those requests by contacting others in the office of the DA.
Meanwhile, in spite of Hynes’ attempts to sabotage transition morale, I hear staff at the DA’s office are upbeat about the new era starting in January. Of course there is also nervousness about who will rise and fall and how things will work for individual ADAs. But, there is a general feeling that the office will have higher standards of integrity and professionalism. Thompson bolstered morale with a set of meet-and-greets he hosted at his office. Almost all of the ADAs attended. He had scheduled for 300 attendees over four sessions but had to expand to cover approximately 480 ADAs who RSVP’d.
Update: Sunday Dec 15- Accrued time is only for vacation. Per comment by “Disgusted” junior staff are not allowed to accrue vacation time. Until about five years ago, this policy was pretty strictly applied (except for the favored few). In recent years, enforcement of the rule has been laxer.