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Former Brooklyn DA Under Investigation for Misusing Public Funds

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He prosecuted cases for nearly a quarter century as Brooklyn District Attorney. Now Charles Hynes is facing serious allegations of his own. The city's Department of Investigation says it finds Hynes used his office for political purposes during his losing bid for re-election last year. Josh Robin filed the following report.

It was a fierce debate on NY1, a sign of the tight contest.

"He has no record to speak of,” said incumbent Charles Hynes.

"The people of Brooklyn have been let down by this DA,” said challenger Ken Thompson.

Now, how Hynes prepared for that showdown is raising big ethical questions.

Last summer the DA allegedly used his official e-mail to get ready, on the other end, atop judge, Barry Kamins.

Sitting Judges are barred from political activity. This e-mail shows a satisfied Hynes comparing Kamins to a legendary political consultant.

"You are the new David Garth," Hynes writes.

Kamins replies, “Yes. I charge very little to be a consultant. My only request: standing next to you and Pat at the victory speech.”

There's more.

An advisor helping with the campaign was paid with money seized in criminal raids.

The consultant declined to comment. The judge's lawyer didn't return a request for comment. In an e-mail, Hynes says he'll respond in quote another forum.

"I think he's in trouble,” said Michael Powell of The New York Times.

Powell has known Hynes for decades. He says Hynes seemed tense this last campaign.

"A sense of almost of rancor that was hard to place, you couldn't figure out, was he angry at Ken Thompson? Was he furious at the Brooklynites who might turn their back on him?" said Powell.

Furious and apparently careless.

Investigators looked through about 6,000 official emails. They say about 95 percent relate to the reelection bid.

He sent one to Former Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Hynes writes "Thank you Governor for your most generous support for my campaign. I look forward to our lunch sometime in September after I beat this Turkey.”

“Fondly, Joe,” he signed it, using his nickname.

That so-called turkey is now the Brooklyn District Attorney. And meanwhile Tuesday, Thompson won the release of someone Hynes convicted on murder charges.

He is exonerated after almost 18 years in prison.

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