So Morty Matz, the 89-year-old longtime press aide to former Brooklyn district Attorney Joe Hynes, appears to be the first person subpoenaed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, following allegations that Hynes improperly used staffers and public money in his re-election campaign last year against Ken Thompson.
The allegations were revealed in a Department of Investigation report based on 6,000 emails that turned up in The New York Times before they got to Schneiderman.
Some people have noted that DOI head Mark Peters did not sign the report. They also noted that Peters had run against Hynes in 2005 and contributed $500 to Thompson in 2013, which they add merited his recusal from the investigation.
DOI spokeswoman Diane Struzzi refuted both notions. “This report has the commissioner’s name on the cover page and the reports were issued to the appropriate entities accompanied by a letter signed by the Commissioner,” she wrote in an email.
Regarding Peters’ recusal, she said, “The facts in the report are overwhelming and anything else is a distraction.”
Well, maybe. Some emails are indeed overwhelming, specifically those between Hynes and Brooklyn Administrative Judge Barry Kamins, who, the emails revealed, advised Hynes on his campaign. Kamins has since been relieved of his duties.
But the allegations against Matz are not so clear. Was he a press aide, as he claims, and not a campaign consultant as the DOI report alleges?
A person familiar with Hynes’ office operations said: “Morty was a press guy. At every press conference, Morty brought the food. Whenever he said anything about politics, no one listened to him.”