Oh, Faithless Dennis and Arthur!

Dennis Quirk

Dennis Quirk

Many of us thought Charles Joe Hynes was a cur for breaking his primary-night promise to cooperate on a “smooth transition” to Kenneth Thompson’s administration of the Office of the Kings County District Attorney (KCDA). Hynes broke his promise several weeks later, partly at the urging of Republicans Dennis Quirk and Martin Golden. Hynes ran a race-baiting campaign that failed abysmally. He lost by a margin of almost fifty percent.

According to the New York Daily News, Dennis Quirk, as President of the Court Officers Union:

Landed numerous New York City contracts and parlayed them into a family-owned business fiefdom he says grosses $1.8 million a year. “I don’t hide it,” he told the Daily News. “I’ve got a head for business…… Quirk is also regarded as the King of Courts. A hugely influential player in the politically charged court system, he’s got a reputation for making judges quake – and a record of successfully running four campaigns for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, mostly from his union office. “This is a guy who could probably run General Motors – and maybe Ford and Chrysler at the same time,” said Hynes. “Everyone in labor, politics and business should keep a picture of Dennis Quirk in their wallet,” said former Gov. Mario Cuomo……

Not everyone agrees, including the leadership of the State Supreme Court Officers Association, which represents court officers who are not in Quirk’s union and have clashed with him for decades over turf and personality issues. “He’s built a business empire and become a rich man, and his role as president for life of his union helped make it possible,” said Jimmy Carr, the head of the State Supreme Court Officers Association. Adds Charles Compton, a past president of the rival union, “Dennis is the modern-day Tammany Hall boss of the New York State court system.

After Hynes lost the general election in November, Quirk asked for a sit-down with Thompson. Thompson declined. But Quirk was desperate to build a bridge to the new DA. So, he sent in a five thousand dollar check to Thompson’s campaign fund. Arthur Aidala who heads the fund, Friends of Joe Hynes, also sent in a check.

Arthur Aidala

Arthur Aidala

They obviously didn’t care about their pious insistence that Thompson was corrupt and in bed with Norman. I doubt they ever believed that allegation. But whether or not they believed that allegation, they were now focused on getting in bed with Thompson. These men have no principles except access to power.

Unfortunately for them, Thompson returned their checks before they were even cashed. The word from Quirk’s camp is that he is very unhappy. I imagine the same is true for Aidala. He went from being the defense lawyer who had very special access to someone who will have to go through the same legitimate door as everyone else when he deals with KCDA. The thought cheers me.

Hynes was a wrecker in choosing to run in the general election. In the end he wrecked his relationships with the Democratic political establishment. Now he will also have to swallow the bitter pill that his general election allies have also abandoned him. Best of all, Quirk and Aidala’s betrayals got them nowhere.

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