Kenneth Thompson Has to Decide

Kenneth Thompson

Kenneth Thompson

The New York Jewish Week reports that the Brooklyn DA continues to delay the dismissal of charges against Samuel (Sam) Kellner. This is happening in spite of the DA’s views on the matter bolstered by a great deal of additional information. As I was quoted in the Jewish Week article:

“The public is owed a report on witness tampering and corruption of justice… Anything less will dash the hopes of anti-abuse advocates, victims wary of testifying, and the larger ultra-Orthodox community.”

The Jewish Week also reported the opinion of Bennett Gershman, a leading prosecutorial ethics expert and Pace University law professor

Mr. Thompson’s first priority should be to review the many tainted convictions obtained by Hynes’ office, especially wrongful convictions where an arguably innocent defendant is still incarcerated… However, even though he may soon be vindicated, Kellner’s case stands out dramatically as one of the most egregious instances of prosecutorial abuse by Hynes’ office. … Indeed, the criminal charges against Kellner bear all the hallmarks of a demagogic prosecution brought, not to serve legitimate law enforcement reasons, but in bad faith for illegitimate reasons.”

Michael Vecchione (ProPublica.com)

Michael Vecchione (ProPublica.com)

When Mr. Thompson ran for office he trashed ex-DA Hynes for continuing to employ Michael Vecchione, a man who tainted the office with false convictions. Michael Vecchione is gone but his legacy lives on in the Kellner case, one he coaxed and perpetuated to help a notorious serial molester, Baruch Lebovits. Its legacy includes prosecutorial misconduct, DA collusion with defense attorneys, criminally negligent disregard of witness tampering and bribery, and incompetence so extraordinary that it is most easily explained as intentional perversion of justice.

One legacy of the Hynes era is the distrust the office fostered among victims of abuse in the ultra orthodox community. Many victims never pressed charges because they were convinced that the DA was in the pocket of ultra orthodox leadership. To fully purge the office of Vecchione’s mischief, Thompson must fully exonerate Kellner, sanction employees culpable of negligence and worse in the Kellner and Lebovits cases, bring ethics and legal charges against attorneys involved in witness tampering and bribery, and prosecute others involved in such efforts.

Kenneth Thompson has to decide if he will finally exorcise the ghost of Vecchione.

See the full article in the Jewish Week for more valuable information about the current status of the Kellner case: Kellner Seeking Probe Of Witness Intimidation by Hella Winston.

Update 3/6/2014 7 pm- The Jewish Week has updated its article to report the DA will drop charges against Kellner tomorrow.

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9 thoughts on “Kenneth Thompson Has to Decide

  1. Would it be possible to get the federal authorities involved in investigating the crimes committed against Kellner? It seems to me that the crimes involved actions that went beyond the borders of New York.

    What about a private criminal prosecution? In Young v. United States ex rel. Vuitton Et Fils, S.A., 481 U.S. 787 (1987), it was determined that the federal court could appoint a private attorney to prosecute a criminal action since the executive refused to prosecute.

  2. I’m not sure it would be appropriate for Kenneth Thompson to make any decision regarding the crimes committed with the assistance of his office against Kellner or conduct any investigation of his own office. An outside prosecutor should be brought in.

  3. Mr. Kellner states: [I[f in the end they will investigate what happened here . . . [and] all this intimidation will end . . . that is probably worth the whole pain and suffering of my indictment.”

    That is grace.

  4. it is a sad sad day for Truth and Honesty hen the charges against “whistleblower” kellner are dropped. Kellner is the epitome of deviousness and dishonesty. just mention his name in the toner-related business world, and you will find out. he comes across as the most eidele and ehrliche person imaginable, but when you turn your back, he will behave in the most ruthless and crooked way possible. His chinuch for his bennak, was laced with profanities, missing davening most days, sexually harassing his employees. nu? so when he grows up accordingly, its the easiest to blame every and anybody that moves.

  5. Do you have any evidence of this frum: “One legacy of the Hynes era is the distrust the office fostered among victims of abuse in the ultra orthodox community. ”

    I can’t find any record of that on the internet, but I am willing to give you the benefitnof the doubt that you talked to someone who told you that. Is that the case?

    • I have spoken to a number of ultra orthodox CSA victims during the Hynes era who saw no point in going to KCDA with complaints about their abusers, especially when they were prominent members of the ultra orthodox community. They were convinced that the DA would not prosecute vigorously. I have heard many more such anecdotes from sources in the community.

  6. The more they stay the same.

    Until the federal government, which is currently addressing the sexual abuse of adults on college campuses and in the armed services turns it’s attention to the sexual abuse of Jewish children in Brooklyn, there will be no safety.

    Albany clearly doesn’t care, as Sheldon Silver personally protects abusers in his own office, and is in bed with Ohel and Agudah.

    The only thing that is necessary is a grand jury with subpoena power and the will to get to the truth, including protecting witnesses. Somebody like Elliot Ness who brought down Al Capone.

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