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Monday, June 3
7:30 pm

DL21C’s Brooklyn District Attorney Candidate Forum

The Dining Room
56 Willoughby St., Brooklyn

8pm (doors open 7:30pm)
DL21C’s Brooklyn District Attorney Candidate Forum
Featuring all 3 District Attorney Candidates:
District Attorney Charles Hynes
Abe George
Ken Thompson
Learn more about the candidates running to be Brooklyn/Kings County’s top prosecutor:
About the Candidates
Kings County (Brooklyn) DA Hynes
Charles Joe Hynes is the current District Attorney of Kings County.  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. 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.
As the Special Prosecutor and Chief Trial Attorney in 1987 Howard Beach murder 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.  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. District Attorney Hynes created the Girls Re-Entry Assistance Support Project (GRASP), 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.
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's University while she was at Kings County Hospital.  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 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.
Mr. Hynes has coauthored several books, and 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 Fordham University Law School in 1992.
Abe George
Abe is running for District Attorney to uphold the values he learned from his immigrant parents and to serve the Brooklyn community that welcomed them.
Abe’s parents left the poverty of the their native India in search of a better life in America. They settled in Sheepshead Bay and worked for decades at Coney Island Hospital, his mother as a nurse, his father as a city investigator. The Georges cared for Brooklyn’s sick and instilled in Abe a commitment to serving his community. Abe took the message to heart. After graduating New York University and Hofstra University Law School, Abe became a prosecutor in Manhattan.
In eight years as an Assistant District Attorney, Abe prosecuted narcotics crimes, cracked down on violent gangs, and investigated cold case homicides. Abe served on a city-wide drug task force that cleaned up one of Brooklyn’s most dangerous housing projects. Abe understood that smart policing and intelligence-based investigations were better at fighting crime than abusive tactics such as stop-and-frisk.
Abe saw what worked in law enforcement and what did not. In the process, he learned that the prosecutor’s office in his native borough was falling behind. The police, he discovered, had lost confidence in the Brooklyn DA’s Office to effectively fight crime. Worse, residents had lost faith that the DA was looking out for them. Abe watched as Brooklyn continued to lead the city in homicides and as the DA did nothing to curb abuses of stop-and-frisk. Abe was shocked when the incumbent DA allowed politics to influence his prosecution of child molesters in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and when the DA did little to address prosecutorial misconduct, which had led to a string of wrongful convictions.
Drawing on his experience as a prosecutor and following the example of his parents, Abe decided to run for Brooklyn District Attorney. Today Abe is campaigning to reform the Brooklyn DA’s Office. Abe will use modern tactics to fight crime, respect civil rights, and keep politics out of the DA’s Office.
Ken Thompson
After watching Ken deliver a powerful and hard-hitting opening statement at the Louima trial, legendary newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin reported that Ken "delivered an opening statement that will be remembered."
Among his many other accomplishments as a federal prosecutor, Ken successfully obtained murder-in-aid-of-racketeering and robbery convictions at the trial of violent gang members, who had committed a series of armed robberies and shootings at various banks, and who had murdered an innocent bank customer. He also successfully investigated and prosecuted a bank robber, who had terrorized bank tellers throughout the New York metropolitan area.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, Ken was an attorney in the United States Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., where he served as Special Assistant to former Treasury Department Undersecretary for Enforcement Ronald K. Noble, who is now the Secretary General of Interpol, the international police organization based in Lyon, France. Ken then went on to work in the Treasury Department's General Counsel's Office under Robert McNamara, Jr., who himself would go on to become General Counsel to the C.I.A. Ken also played a key role on the team of lawyers and federal agents, which investigated the raid on the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas.
After his time as a federal prosecutor, Ken went into private practice, first at a prominent international law firm and then at his very own law firm, which he co-founded so that he could continue prosecuting cases against powerful companies and institutions on behalf of victims – everyday men and women who had suffered unlawful discrimination or sexual violence. On the basis of its strong reputation as a champion for victims, the firm has become a go-to advocate for victims in high-profile and complex litigation.
Most notably, Ken worked with Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, other elected officials, and members of the clergy to convince the United States Department of Justice to reopen the investigation into the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi. He also currently represents Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel housekeeper, who reported that she was sexually assaulted in a Manhattan hotel room by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund.
After graduating from New York City public schools, Ken attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he graduated magna cum laude. He then went on to NYU Law School, where he earned the prestigious Arthur T. Vanderbilt Medal at graduation for his outstanding contributions to the law school community.  In subsequent years, Ken has been honored by the Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association of NYU Law School, which awarded him with its Distinguished Service Award. In June 2005, NYU Law School recognized Ken for his exceptional contributions to the legal profession by naming him its Alumnus of the Month (ALMO).
Ken lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Lu-Shawn, who is a nurse, and their two young children.