Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes played host to Brooklyn bloggers yesterday evening in his office, at 350 Jay Street. Besides your BHB correspondent, those present were: Jonathan Butler of Brownstoner, Rock Hackshaw of Room 8, Ron Howell of Brooklyn Ron, and Liza Sabater and David Michaelson of The Daily Gotham.
Hynes described many ways in which his office is responding to current issues. He outlined efforts to combat mortgage fraud and predatory lending, including community outreach to educate potential victims as well as prosecution of those accused of mortgage fraud or deed theft. He also discussed two topics in the news: the sentencing of former Assemblywoman Diane Gordon to two to six years imprisonment for bribery, and the indictment of a contractor for manslaughter in the death of a construction worker at an East New York building site.
Asked what made him most proud of his service as District Attorney, Hynes said it was the reduction in the recidivism rate for those convicted of crimes in Brooklyn. He ascribed this to several factors, including educational programs for convicts, residential drug rehabilitation and alternative sentencing for young, non-violent offenders. He ascribed the overall reduction in the crime rate to programs begun during the mayoral administration of David Dinkins and Raymond Kelly’s first term as Police Commissioner, principally community-based policing. He was also asked about the perception that Brooklyn politics is “a cesspool”. He said that people like Diane Gordon, Judge Garson and Clarence Norman were very much the exception, not the rule, and that the overwhelming majority of those involved in politics in Brooklyn are honest and decent.