ALBANY -- State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has impaneled a grand jury to investigate possible criminal charges against former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and some of his aides, according to a person familiar with the case.
The New York City Department of Investigation in a report earlier this year accused Hynes of misusing $200,000 forfeited by convicted criminals. The public report said the money may have been used to pay a media consultant in Hynes' unsuccessful campaign for re-election in 2013.
The report included emails that showed Administrative Judge Barry Kamins secretly advised the longtime district attorney on legal and political issues and discussed cases Hynes' office was prosecuting.
The city DOI, headed by Mark Peters, charged that political consultant Morty Matz was improperly paid from the asset-forfeiture funds.
The city report states that from January to late November 2013, "an average of two to three checks each month" were sent to Matz, Blancato & Associates in varying amounts from "a subaccount titled asset forfeiture," in payment of "purported office consulting services."
The payments totaled $219,924 in 2013 and 2014, the report said.
At least five senior members of Hynes' district attorney staff performed political activity related to his campaign while on city time, the report said.
The 27-page report concluded that Hynes may have committed criminal offenses. The Department of Investigation referred the allegations to the state attorney general.
The source wouldn't detail what the grand jury investigation is focusing on or how long the inquiry might last.
Hynes, a Democrat, first was elected district attorney office in 1989 and lost in 2013. Hynes could not be reached for comment .
Matz no longer works at Matz, Blancato, & Associates, according to an employee, who added that they had no way to contact Matz.
Hynes couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
Kamins' attorney, Paul Shechtman, declined to comment.