Democratic Primary for Brooklyn District Attorney
District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes has been in office for 23 years but he is locked in a bitter struggle for re-election against former federal prosecutor Ken Thompson. Hynes has argued his opponent does not have the experience or the character to be Brooklyn’s top prosecutor, but Thompson hopes to exploit a spate of recent scandals in the incumbent’s office and unseat him.
• Democrat, six-term district attorney, former New York City fire commissioner.
• Star assistant district attorney in the late 1960s and early 1970s, became a special prosecutor investigating Medicaid fraud under Gov. Hugh Carey. Appointed fire commissioner under Mayor Ed Koch in 1980. Elected district attorney in 1989.
• 78, married, five children.
• Democrat, trial lawyer, former federal prosecutor, former attorney in the United States Treasury Department.
• Contributed to a report on the Branch Davidian Compound Raid in Waco, Tex. under the Clinton Administration. Delivered opening statement in the prosecution of five New York City police officers in the high-profile Abner Louima torture case.
• 47, married, two children.
• A second Hynes challenger Abe George dropped out of the race in late July and endorsed Thompson.
• Thompson has attacked Hynes for recusing himself from prosecuting disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez because of their political ties. Thompson claims that Hynes failed to speak out against the police practice of stop-and-frisk. The challenger has also alleged that Hynes abused his position to go after his political opponents.
• Hynes has pointed out that Thompson defended disgraced state Sens. Pedro Espada and John Sampson while he was acting as attorney to the legislative body.