Charles J. Hynes is the District Attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn), New York. On November 3, 2009, Charles J. Hynes was re-elected to his sixth term as the District Attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn), New York.
The District Attorney 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 Mr. Hynes as Special State Prosecutor to investigate nursing home fraud. District Attorney Hynes was elected the first president of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units in 1976. Today, 47 states have Medicaid fraud control units.
In 1980, Mayor Edward I. Koch appointed Mr. 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 served as a Commissioner for the New York State Commission of Investigation between 1983 and 1985 by appointment of New York State Assembly Speaker Stanley Fink. He returned to public service in 1985, appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo as a Special State Prosecutor for the New York City Criminal Justice System.
In 1987, the District Attorney became the center of national attention when Governor Cuomo called on him to investigate the murder of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach, Queens. As the Special Prosecutor and Chief Trial Attorney in that case, Mr. Hynes led the investigation and prosecution which resulted in three homicide convictions.
In 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mr. Hynes started a United States Department of Justice funded Family Justice Center – a one stop shopping service for victims of domestic violence and their surviving children. The Center is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Hynes’ mother, Regina Katherine Drew, a victim of domestic violence. District Attorney Hynes started one of the first Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) programs for chronic drug offenders in the country.
In 1999, Mr. Hynes created the ComALERT (Community And Law Enforcement Resources Together) public safety program which supports individuals on probation or parole as they re-enter their Brooklyn communities. The program was validated by a Harvard University study which found it reduced recidivism by more than half. In 2005, District Attorney Hynes created the Girls Re-Entry Assistance Support Project (GRASP). GRASP is specifically designed to meet the needs of young women between the ages of 13 and 25 who are returning to the community after placement in a juvenile or adult correctional facility.
Mr. Hynes is now spearheading a groundbreaking alternative-to-prison program for mothers and their children through a not-for-profit foundation named in honor of his mother, Regina Drew. The Drew Foundation is planning to operate the first residence of its kind in the country in which women will be permitted to remain with all of their children in a secure, community-based setting while receiving intensive trauma-focused, rehabilitative services.
District Attorney Hynes is a proud and life-long resident of Brooklyn, where he was born and raised in the Flatbush section. He met his wife, Patricia L. Pennisi, a registered nurse, while they were undergraduate students. He attended St. John'sUniversity while she was at Kings CountyHospital.
Since 1983, Mr. Hynes served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the New York State Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection. He retired from the Board this year.
Since 2000, District Attorney Hynes has served as a member of the American Bar Association. He has also served as a member of the ABA Criminal Justice Section. In 2005, the Criminal Justice Section presented Mr. Hynes with their “Minister of Justice Award.” In 2006 Mr. Hynes was appointed by the ABA President to serve on the Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions for a term of two years. In 2008, he received the American Bar Association Award, “Lawyer as Problem Solver,” and the “Cyrus R. Vance Tribute” from The Fund for Modern Courts. In 2009, he was given the Diversity Championship Award by The New York City Bar Association.
In 2009, Mr. Hynes was elected Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association. In 1990, he became a member of the National District Attorneys Association and from 1993 until 2007, he served as New York State Director on the Board. In 2007, he was elected a Vice President of the Association. In 2009, he became immediate past Vice President of the National District Attorneys Association. In 2011, he was awarded “The Hogan Award” by the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York
Mr. Hynes has co-authored and published “Incident at Howard Beach: The Case for Murder” and has contributed to another book, “The Regulation of Nursing Homes: A Case Study.” In June of 2007, St. Martin’s Press, Thomas Dunne Imprint, published Mr. Hynes’ first novel, “Triple Homicide.” Mr. Hynes continues 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. He was appointed to both St. John's and Brooklyn Law School in 1984, and FordhamUniversity LawSchool in 1992.