NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge who was linked to corruption allegations against former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has agreed to resign.
The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced Wednesday that Supreme Court Justice Barry Kamins will step down.
Kamins’ resignation stems from allegations that a conflict of interest was created when he exchanged emails with Hynes. According to authorities, the two discussed strategy for the prosecutor’s re-election campaign.
Those emails surfaced during an investigation into allegations that Hynes funneled forfeiture money from drug and other criminal investigations into the failed campaign.
Back in June, a New York City Department of Investigation report concluded that Hynes used assets seized from criminal defendants to pay a consultant who working on the campaign.
The report said Hynes’ office issued an average of two to three checks per month to Matz, Blancato & Associates from a subaccount called “asset forfeiture,” in what were purported to be office consulting services.
The DOI, however, said the evidence showed consultant Mortimer Matz did not really provide any public relations or communications services for the District Attorney’s office but rather worked “primarily if not exclusively as a political consultant to Hynes personally” and had a major role in his re-election campaign.
The report also mentioned Kamins’ involvement, saying the judge had sent 300 emails to Hynes through his official judicial email account.
The emails provide evidence not only that Kamins engaged in political activity while a sitting judge by advising Hynes about his campaign, but that he also talked with Hynes actively about matters being prosecuted by the DA for which the judge should have been impartial, and consulted Hynes for legal advice, the report said.
Hynes has denied any wrongdoing.
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