Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenas former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes aides in state theft probe, says source
By Reuven Blau (NY Daily News)
June 9, 2014
The state’s top cop is looking into possible criminal charges against former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the embattled ex-lawman’s consultant Mortimer Matz and top mouthpiece Jerry Schmetterer, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
A stunning probe by the city’s Department of Investigations revealed last week that Hynes may have used money to pay more than $200,000 to the political Svengali Matz.
The DOI’s report cited emails allegedly showing that the 89-year-old Matz, a former DA employee who began working for Hynes in 2003, focused on his boss’ re-election bid last year. The 27-page report, which included information culled from 6,000 emails, including one where Hynes called his opponent Ken Thompson a “low life,” was forwarded to the AG’s Office, according to sources.
Hynes could face theft charges for the misappropriation of public funds.
It remains unclear what the subpoenas entailed. The AG has the power to force Matz and Schmetterer to be interviewed by investigators about the case.
Asked about the legal strike, Schneiderman’s spokesman, Melissa Grace, said, “no comment.”
Schmetterer also declined to discuss the case and Matz was not immediately available.
In a 2010 interview with the New York Times, the veteran political guru said, “In 2013, I expect to be working on Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes’ re-election campaign.”
Still, sources close to Hynes say the majority of Matz’s emails were sent out on his own time in early morning hours. Matz defenders contend he was an integral part of the press office who routinely attended press conferences.
Another incriminating aspect of the report concerned Barry Kamins — the top jurist in Brooklyn until his promotion to a statewide job late last year — who offered near-daily advice to Hynes about the campaign and related issues, emails showed.
Meanwhile, Hynes has vacationed Florida, Aruba and Jamaica since his flopped bid for a seventh term, according to friend of the former lawman. He was in Hamptons when the DOI report was released last Monday, the pal said.