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Remembering The Honorable Charles J. Hynes '52

Archbishop Molloy High School is saddened to share the passing of Stanner Hall of Famer and former Brooklyn D.A. of 24 years Charles J. Hynes, St. Ann’s Academy Class of 1952. He was 83 years old.

Hon. Hynes began his career in public service in 1963 as an associate attorney for the Legal Aid Society. In 1969, he joined the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1971, he was named Chief of the Rackets Bureau and in 1973, he was promoted to First Assistant District Attorney. In 1975, Governor Hugh Carey and Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz appointed Hon. Hynes as Special State Prosecutor to investigate nursing home fraud. His State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit became a national model and his Medicaid Fraud Control legislation – which provided federal funding for any state interested in starting a unit – became law in 1978. That same year, District Attorney Hynes was elected the first president of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units.

In 1980, Mayor Edward I. Koch appointed Hon. Hynes as Fire Commissioner of New York City. In 1982, after two years in that post as Fire Commissioner, he left public service for private practice. He returned to public service in 1985 when he was appointed as a Special State Prosecutor for the NYC Criminal Justice System. In 1986, Hon. Hynes was called on to investigate a high-profile murder case in Howard Beach, Queens. Hon. Hynes led the investigation and prosecution, which resulted in three homicide convictions. This case gained him national recognition.

After being elected Brooklyn District Attorney in 1989, Hon. Hynes pioneered innovative criminal justice strategies. He founded one of the first specialized domestic violence bureaus in the country, one of the first Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison programs, and created a Crimes Against Children Bureau to bring expertise to child abuse cases. In 1999, Hon. Hynes created ComALERT, a public safety program that supports individuals on parole as they re-enter their Brooklyn communities.

Hon. Hynes was also known to demonstrate his commitment to public service and education by serving as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at three New York City Law Schools: St. John’s, Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School.

On November 7, 2005, Charles J. Hynes was re-elected to his fifth term as the District Attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn), New York; he was sworn into office on January 10, 2006. This appointment would carry him until 2013, when he lost his bid for a sixth term.

Hon. Hynes co-authored Incident at Howard Beach: The Case for Murder and contributed to The Regulation of Nursing Homes: A Case Study. In spring 2007, St. Martin’s Press published Mr. Hynes’ first solo novel, Triple Homicide.

Hon. Hynes is survived by his wife, Patricia; their children, Kevin, Patrick, Jeanne Cook and Lisa Kellachan; and 17 grandchildren. Please keep Hon. Hynes and his family in your prayers.

Links: New York Times | Washington Post | Wall Street Journal | NY1 | Newsday | NY Daily News

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