The federal government has joined New York State in its investigation of embattled former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who may have committed fraud while funding his ugly, race-baiting 2013 re-election campaign.
Earlier this month, the NYC Department of Investigation was asked to look into allegations suggesting Hynes had used state asset forfeiture funds to fund his DA run in 2013. According to the report, Hynes shelled out $1.1 million to 2002 and 2013 to campaign consultant Mortimer Matz's firm, allegedly using cash that came from seized funds intended for law enforcement purposes; he was also accused of using his work email account for campaigning purposes. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed both Matz and Hynes spokesperson Jerry Schmetterer—now, federal prosecutors have subpoenaed a detective investigator with the Brooklyn DA's office in connection with the fraud investigation.
The Attorney General's investigation could result in Hynes being charged with official misconduct, violation of the public officers’ law and larceny. A federal investigation, however, opens Hynes up to felony charges of government agency fraud, embezzlement or bribery, which carry potential prison terms of more than ten years.
Recently, current Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson fired nine attorneys who had worked under Hynes, along with two staffers. He denied that the firings were in connection with the DOI report.