As outgoing Brooklyn DA Charles “Joe” Hynes prepares to leave office after 24 years, it appears yet another scandal is brewing inside his embattled administration—-this time, the firing of first-year ADA Barbara Burke who is believed to be responsible for leaking an email containing a bigoted Yiddish term aimed at incoming DA Kenneth Thompson between Hynes and long-time friend, former chief judge and convicted felon, Sol Wachtler to the website BuzzFeed.
THE NEW YORK TIMES reports that Hynes originally claimed his email had been hacked when the missive first ran on BuzzFeed, and requested special prosecutor to investigate the matter.
It is believed that ADA Burke, who, as part of Hynes’ re-election campaign had access to Hynes’ email account, shared the message with friends, but not BuzzFeed.
Ms. Burke, who joined the DA’s office in January, was charged specifically with handling communications between Hynes’ office and Attorney Joel B. Rudin, who is representing Jabbar Collins in his $150M lawsuit against Hynes’ office.
Ironically, Burke was fired the same day the two ADAs handling the case against Sam Kellner were demoted after they announced they were going to ask for a dismissal.
Longtime top-Hynes ADA Michael Vecchione, who has already announced his plans to retire before the incoming Thompson has the chance to fire him, blocked the request for dismissal, resulting in a new ADA recently asking a judge to extend the case into January—-seemingly looking to kick the case to Thompson’s administration.
Burke’s lawyer, Mark Bederow, said Burke was terminated for doing something ethical.
“She was proud and excited to be an assistant district attorney,” Bederow said of Burke. “She raised ethical considerations and was demoted and ultimately terminated as a result of that.”