Archive for the tag 'charles hynes'

Source: SalFalko/Flickr

A federal judge threw out the conviction of a man sentenced for a 1989 murder in Brighton Beach after already serving 23 years of his sentence, with the judge calling the case “rotten from day one.”

Village Voice has a great rundown:

On Aug. 31, 1989, two men walked into the basement of a crackhouse at 3053 Brighton Fifth St. in Brooklyn and robbed the drug dealer, Elvirn Surria. One of the men shot Surria twice with a double-barreled shotgun and he died. [William] Lopez was arrested and later convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

One witness, Daisy Guadalupe Flores, claimed she came face-to-face and spoke with the shooter, but did not recognize Lopez when she saw him in the courtroom. In addition, she said the shooter was a “tall, dark, black” man taller than 6-foot-3. Lopez is about 5-foot-7 and has a light complexion.

The second witness, Janet Chapman, had smoked 10-to-12 vials of crack in the two hours prior to the shooting. She claimed not to have seen the shooting, but said she saw Lopez with a gun, heard a shot and heard a body fall. During the trial, she changed her story. She claimed she saw the shooting. After the trial, she changed her story a second time, saying Lopez was present at all, and she was intimidated into naming him by prosecutors.

Chapman first identified Lopez as a suspect after she was arrested for prostitution about a month after the murder. When she testified, she had been held at Rikers for five month. “There is conflicting evidence in the record regarding whether, at the time of her testimony, there was an outstanding deal between the prosecution and Chapman whereby Chapman would receive a sentence of time served if she testified against Lopez consistently with her audiotaped statement at the police department,” Garaufis writes.

In other words, Chapman may have had an incentive to name Lopez as the killer.

Indeed, about two months after the trial, Chapman gave Lopez’s brother a typewritten statement saying she had been intimidated by police and prosecutors into naming Lopez.

The prosecutorial misdeeds go on from there, with Chapman recanting three times over the years and even saying that the district attorney “told me never to tell anyone that we cut a deal about my testimony in exchange for my freedom.”

It wasn’t just the prosecutors who bungled the case. Lopez’s trial lawyer failed to call his alibi witnesses, as well as a witness who claimed to know who the real killer was.

The judge, Nicholas Garaufis, has ordered that Lopez be tried again – even though the alibi witnesses are no longer available to testify – or that he be released within 60 days.

The decision is a blow to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who oversaw the case early in his tenure. The New York Times writes:

It is the latest official rebuke of the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, which has been faulted repeatedly by judges for misconduct that has put innocent people behind bars.

A spokesman for Charles J. Hynes, the longtime district attorney who is preparing to run for re-election this year, declined to comment in detail, saying only that the office was reviewing the matter.

… In 2010, another federal judge called the office’s conduct “shameful” for the way it handled the case of Jabbar Collins, who later had his murder conviction vacated. In 2011, the office dismissed rape charges against four men after it was revealed that the prosecution against them had continued even after the victim recanted. The office started its own unit to investigate claims of innocence; that unit overturned another case last year.

Hynes is appealing Judge Garaufis’ decision.

New York Law Journal has more on the case.

Charles J. Hynes wrote a letter to the New York Times calling on President Obama to form a national commission on gun control, insisting that the federal government needs to adopt stricter gun control statutes nationwide – a responsibility currently left largely to individual states.

Hynes, the Kings Country District Attorney, told the Times that, “The commission should be made up of experts from the fields of law enforcement, school safety, mental health, academia and sociology and include a representative from a respected hunting organization.”

Hynes hopes that the commission will represent a non-political group of experts who can then best present a recommended course of action for the U.S. Congress to enact when it comes to crafting sensible gun control laws.

Hynes ran down a list of topics that the commission should focus on including:

The prospect of prohibiting interstate transportation of guns, requiring background criminal and psychiatric checks before gun purchases at gun shows, a ban once again on automatic weapons, and on high-capacity ammunition magazine — all of which could be approved by Congress and not violate the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Hynes closed the letter with a comparison of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary to that of September 11, in that it has shaken the national conscience and faith.

St. Mark Church to House Group Home for Developmentally Disabled Girls: Community Board 15 gave the green light to St. Vincent’s Services to move an intermediate care facility into St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, located at 2601 East 19th Street.

The facility’s Associate Executive Director and Managing Director of Developmentally Disabled Services Janice Ashton briefed the Board on the organization’s plan, saying that 14 “profoundly disabled young ladies” between the ages of 25 and 60 will use the existing vacant rectory building – formerly a convent. All of the girls have suffered profound or severe mental handicaps from birth, and will be attended by a staff ratio of two to three clients per staff member.

“I really know these consumers and their families. We have done such a good job that many of them, they never thought they would live so long,” Ashton said. “Usually 30 to 35 [years is the average lifespan]; they’re approaching, some 60s, 50s, and in other facilities, we have 70s and 80s.”

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Janna Doheny, after surrendering to authorities. (Source: Brooklyn DA)

Janna Doheny, the owner of multiple units inside Brighton Beach’s posh Oceana condominium development, is charged with bilking more than $29,000 from Medicaid over the course of eight years, according to a new indictment revealed by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

Doheny, 43, filed falsified documents for Medicaid, claiming her only source of income for her and her daughter was just $1,550 a month from her job at an adult entertainment establishment in Queens, and that her savings and investments totaled less than $5,000.

But investigators claim that Doheny wasn’t as cash strapped as her Medicaid application stated. They say Doheny lived the high life, making pricey purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret and Amazon, as well as getting professional glamour shots in skimpy swimwear while vacationing at a luxury resort in Arizona – a discovery they found by perusing her profile on a Russian-language social networking site.

“Lying to the system to receive Medicaid is a theft of taxpayer dollars and will not be tolerated,” said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar, whose agency assisted in the investigation. “At HRA, we maintain the integrity of public assistance programs by providing benefits to those who are eligible and investigating those who ignore the rules.”

Investigators also found that Doheny not only purchased several condo units at Oceana between 2002 and 2010 – where price tags range from $500,000 to $2 million – but that she also owned property in Bay Ridge, Long Beach and South Florida.

The complaint goes on to state that Doheny deposited more than $100,000 annually into several bank accounts in her own name and the name of her business, Oceana Ventures, as well as a pile of cash totaling $170,000 in a safe deposit box on Long Island.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, along with the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the Human Resources Administration, started to take a closer look at Doheny’s holdings after being tipped off to the Oceana purchases.

The following is a press release from the offices of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes:

Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has received $103,000 in public protection funds from Brooklyn State Senator Martin J. Golden that will provide support the District Attorney’s existing alternative to incarceration programs for at-risk youths and to victims of domestic violence cases pending in Brooklyn’s Domestic Violence Court parts.

“Brooklyn is the only county in New York State with two separate Integrated Domestic Violence Courts,” said DA Hynes.  “Thanks to this generous grant, for the first time, we will have one dedicated social worker who will not only assist victims in the two courtrooms, but will also form the bridge connecting the court parts to the Brooklyn Family Justice Center.”

“I am proud to have secured more than $100,000 in public protection funds to support programs offered by Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes,” Senator Golden said.  “I am confident that through his office, this funding will be used to create better opportunities for youth and family justice in Brooklyn.”

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Former Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman and current Assemblyman Vito Lopez, in happier times. Photo by Aaron Short

“Politics are a labyrinth without a clue.” – John Adams

BETWEEN THE LINES: More than a year ago, Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned after he admitted taking part in virtual trysts with other women over the course of several years. The stupidity of that incident — and numerous others that preceded it — has apparently not penetrated the minds of shameless politicians as to what constitutes inappropriate conduct.

For decades, from casting to corporate couches, men in positions of power have taken advantage of women in the workplace. Decades after feminism inspired equal rights for women and brought such matters to light, you’d think the sleazy, obnoxious “boys will be boys” mindset would have fizzled out, but the creepy practice still permeates our culture.

For what it’s worth, let’s call groping, womanizing and related acts the “Dirty Old Man Syndrome,” though age, clearly, has no bearing on the matter.

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Source: Offices of Charles Hynes

For more than six years, Rivka Baror, 51, and her husband Avraham Baror, 64, fraudulently collected $108,715.57 in Medicaid and food-stamp benefits while using phony names to hide assets, including a home and several luxury automobiles, prosecutors allege.

Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar announced the indictment of the husband and wife team for their participation in the crimes, which spanned from January 1, 2006, through June 30, 2012.

According to the defendants’ welfare application forms filed under the names Avraham Baror and Rivka Baror, the couple claimed to have minimal income and no assets, which enables them to receive food-stamp and Medicaid benefits.

However, investigators from HRA and the District Attorney’s office uncovered documents showing the defendants used aliases to maintain bank accounts and purchase property, cars and vacations.

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Abraham George began his campaign for Brooklyn District Attorney last week by blasting incumbent Charles Hynes, saying he has failed to protect Brooklyn’s children.

The New York Law Journal reports that George, 33, accused Hynes of focusing on small crimes like marijuana possession charges, as opposed to larger and more violent ones, such as child molestation. George specifically referred to the manner in which Hynes dealt with the prosecution of child molesters in the Orthodox Jewish Community, a recent sore point for the sitting DA, who was accused of hiding the names of alleged molesters in order to secure the Jewish vote.

“He’s actually harming people,” George told the Daily News. “There are children who are being harmed because he runs a political office. I’m not going to stand around when I know I can do something about it.”

George said he wishes to pursue the individuals who scare witnesses from coming forward and testifying against molesters. He also hopes to form a campaign committee later on in the summer. He has considered running for this position for a while now, and feels that based on his credentials, he is now prepared to assume this role.

Hynes’ spokesman told the Daily News that Hynes will be running for re-election in 2013.

George grew up in Sheepshead Bay and now lives in Williamsburg.

He graduated from Hofstra University School of Law, and has served as an assistant prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for the past eight years.

The following is a message from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

In a push to punish those responsible for hate crimes, including the latest epidemic of anti-Semitic crimes plaguing our community, as a member of the Assembly’s Codes Committee, I called on the City’s District Attorneys to immediately seek the maximum penalty for defendants accused of hate crimes and asked Judges to impose the maximum sentence allowed upon conviction.

We are seeing an increase in the frequency of anti-Semitic incidents. Those who commit these abominable crimes must realize that there is a real penalty to pay for their actions. Most of these offenses are property-based, but the recent physical assault upon a Jewish man walking home from Sabbath services, by teens who hit him in the face and shouted derogatory epithets about his obviously religious appearance, highlights the critical need for harsher penalties.

Those who choose to act on the hatred in their hearts must know that they can expect to receive the maximum penalty that our Penal Code allows. We need to show the perpetrators of these offensive acts that there is no place for their hatred in our civilized society. We as legislators intended that the penalty for the commission of a hate crime be harsher than other crimes.The judiciary must now use its power to carry out our legislative intent.

I am working with law enforcement officials in an effort to swiftly bring those who commit these and other hate crimes to justice. As the son of Holocaust survivors and a representative of one of the largest populations of Holocaust survivors, I am concerned over the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services’ annual “Hate Crimes in New York State” report, showing a 27 percent increase of hate crimes throughout New York City (350), while hate crimes in New York State dropped by 14 percent. The 2011 report also revealed that Jews were the most frequent targets of hate crimes and that, nearly 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, swastikas are still being placed on property throughout New York State. (Please see below a copy of a letter sent to our Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. Also note similar letters were sent to all our Borough’s District Attorneys).

Read a copy of the letter Cymbrowitz sent to DA Hynes.

Madison H.S. (Source:

A 36-year-old Madison High School teacher stands accused of having sex with a 16-year-old pupil on and off school grounds, as well as sharing marijuana with the youth.

The charges were revealed yesterday when a lawyer for the student’s family filed a $10 million notice of claim, charging that teacher Erin Sayar had sex with a 16-year-old she privately tutored between eight and 12 times last year, and also offered him pot from a stash kept on school grounds.

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