Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brooklyn DA Thompson Uncovering Orthodox Jewish Sex Cases that Hynes had kept under wraps for years

Jewish Voice says:  "This singling out of the bad seeds of only the Orthodox Jewish community seems to contradict promises made to Assemblyman Dov Hikind...  While Hynes was in office, these names and cases were kept private as a courtesy to the Orthodox Jewish community, and now that he is gone it’s open season...."

The Brooklyn Independent Republican Fountainhead takes this opportunity to ask:  When will  a policy of openness be applied to the HANDLING of sex-related cases involving the R.C. Diocese of Brooklyn ?

Is the honeymoon over between Brooklyn's new DA and some of those who supported him in the Orthodox Jewish Community ?  According to the Jewish Voice, "After years of many messy cases staying neatly tucked away out of the public spot light during Charles Hynes’ stint as Brooklyn District Attorney, his predecessor now DA Kenneth Thompson has flung it all on stage. ***  This singling out of the bad seeds of only the Orthodox Jewish community seems to contradict promises made to Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whom [sic] had so graciously endorsed Thomson during his candidacy, under the impression that the new DA would treat everyone equal. ***   At the request of the New York Post, Thompson’s staff released the names of 20 defendants in cases in which suspects and/or victims are Orthodox Jews. While Hynes was in office, these names and cases were kept private as a courtesy to the Orthodox Jewish community..."  (See "Brooklyn DA Exposes Orthodox Sex-Offender Cases" by Charles Bernstein, 8/13/14, The Jewish Voice []).

Although this might be an early indicator that the Thompson-run DA's Office is not properly sensistive and attuned to some of the impulses and traditions in the Orthodox Jewish Community,  the public handling of sex offense cases, which criminal prosecution of such crimes clearly is,  of necessity has to be >>>  PUBLIC.

Whether sensible accommodations by the new prosecuting team can be  achieved so as to entertain  certain community notions of of solidarity in the face of a perceived scandal, together with the victims' notions of  embarrassment, "shame" and their rights to privacy remains an open question.

At this particular moment I have to wonder whether and/or when the same level of openness will be applied to similar cases involving the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn ---  and not limited to those where prosecutions have been completed or even undertaken. As a start, DA Thompson should make public any agreements between the DA's Office and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn that might have  existed concerning the HANDLING  of sex-related cases during the regime of DA Hynes; and whether those agreements remain in full force and effect now that Mr. Thompson has become the DA.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Hynes always claimed that there was a memo of understanding between the Brooklyn D.A.'s office and the Diocesan Review Board. According to the terms of the MOU all allegations of sexual abuse by clergy would be immediately reported to the Brooklyn D.A. Sister Pat Finn an amazing woman in our Diocese and strong advocate for those who have been harmed worked hard back in the early 2000's to get this process in place. I think the situation with Catholic clergy abuse is very different at least as it relates to Joe Hynes. Mr. Hynes is and has always been a devout Catholic. He told me at my interview that he was a daily communicant and spoke very sincerely of his aunt who was a Josephite. He is deeply rooted in the culture of the local Church in Brooklyn. Perhaps he struggled with the doctrinal belief that if one speaks publicly of the vices of a priest he or she is bringing scandal to the Church which is a sin. Of course, we intellectually should not agree with that but in the Church it is how we are raised. Joe Hynes was being asked to prosecute men to whom he received the Eucharist. For example, we all remember when the Reverend Joseph Byrnes was on the front cover of the DN in 2002 for sexually abusing young boys at Saint Rose of Lima. Joe Hynes used to worship at Saint Rose of Lima in Greenpoint daily. Byrhes was sentenced to three years probation I think in a plea deal. Then there is Reverend James Collins who was removed from campus ministry at Bishop Kearney high school. The sisters removed him but Hynes dropped the charges, here again we have close bonds - Mary Collins is Frank Macciarola's (RIP) wife and they not only live near the Hynes family but are close personal friends. Then there is Reverend Vincent Gallo - here again a terrible accusation was made and highly credible at least enough for Bishop DiMarzio to act - but Gallo has a summer house down the road from Hynes in Breezy and they uswd to eat at a place called Gargiulo's together. I haven't even touched on Msgr. Tom Brady and his fire department connections with Hynes. Brady was arrested but the grand jury would not indict. In all 71 priests have been crediblt accused in Brooklyn during the 24 years Mr. Hynes held reign. There were five convictions. That does not include Father Patrick Sexton but he was from Saint Thomas More in Breezy - I keep forgetting if Breezy is Kings or Queens County. Everyone there seems to actually live in Brooklyn during the winter time. knows there is no "Catholic voting bloc" that he needed to garner. So there was no reason to appease the catholic community. In fact, arresting a pedophile priest for Catholics would gain him votes. I cannot think of any reason that he would seek to hide the errant priest cases except for the belief that a good Catholic does not speak publicly of bad things priests do.

Anonymous said...

Gail, you haven't called me a Baker Street Irregular or used my stuff in a while and we used to be very good friends once. Last Monday I sent you a lead to a very important story about how our new Brooklyn Dist. Atty. Ken Thompson has taken Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi under his wing and how she is Thompson's Vecchione & Scarcella all rolled into one. Also that Thompson has been aware of her problems all along and he still made her his chief of homicide, along with this link:

You done nothing with it and I didn't even get a thanyou. I don't see why if the Jewish Press is pissed-off at Thompson, you did aposting about it, but something taht was in the Daily News didn't even get a mention. This was an important story on your blog in the past and even when you were posting on the other REpublican blog called Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn, but did you lose interest In the Giuca case now that Hynes is gone as the DA?

Anonymous said...

To the poor maligned Baker Street Irregular's comment above: Perhaps Mr. Massey realizes that the Giuca case is not as "dirty" as it has been purported to be after all. Too many have mistakenly conflated allegations of prosecutorial misconduct on Nicolazzi's part with simply good craftsmanship and excellent trial tactics in the court room. I've read the transcripts, the DD5s, the letters, etc. (including Salpeter's findings). Nicolazzi is the best prosecutor in Brooklyn and perhaps including Manhattan too. Thompson recognizes that I assume and is giving her the benefit of the doubt - which he should. No one believes that Giuca is completely innocent of any involvement and that is part of the problem. He is an unsympathetic character and no one has made any effort to endear him to the community. The Albert / Susan Cleary GOP connection is a red herring in this case. DA Hynes had been getting the Wilson-Paluka for years and certainly did not need the help of Susan Cleary to obtain it in 2005. It is a cleaner prosecution than people realize. it really is. Now go to Mass as today is a Holy Day of Obligation.

Galewyn Massey said...




I have reached out to the comment-makers above concerning the Fisher-Guica-Cleary-Nicolazzi matters discussed above. Here's what I've got.

According to Seigel's most recent article in the Daily News, "If there’s one case to watch to see if new District Attorney Ken Thompson can restore confidence in Brooklyn justice, it’s John Giuca’s. *** While Thompson’s new conviction review unit has moved swiftly and surely in probing questionable old cases, Giuca’s — which levels serious charges about current assistant DAs , including Homicide Bureau Chief Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi — seems stalled...." ( See "Waiting for justice in Brooklyn - Did a star ADA cross the line ?" by Harry Seigel, NY Daily News []). Seigel goes on to describe how and why the Brooklyn DA's office chose to railroad John Giuca instead of pursue a case against the more likely perp, Albert Cleary. Intrinsic to the Seigel article are specific instances of inappropriate conduct attributed to still-connected ADA Nicolazzi.

I posed some serious questions to the second commenter because among other things that person's comment concluded with this: "...[The Guica-Russo cases] is a cleaner prosecution than people realize. it really is." That comment-maker responded indicating that some sort of informal review of the Guica Case was undertaken on the 19th floor at the DA's office while Hynes was DA. When questioned why that informal and unofficial inquiry was undertaken, the response was very surprising to me -- "[The comment-maker] was expressly told by John O'Mara the head of the conviction integrity unit under Hynes that [the Giuca case] was never going to be reviewed."

As for the red herring of "[t]he Albert / Susan Cleary GOP this case.... and whether "... DA Hynes had been getting the Wilson-Paluka for years and certainly did not need the help of Susan Cleary to obtain it in 2005...." I made a call to an expert on historical matters involving the Brooklyn GOP. His recollection was that long-time Vice Chairman Ron D'Angelo routinely pitched the Wilson-Pakula for Hynes, but in 2005 he was out of the picture. In 2005 the contract was done by none other than State Senator Martin Golden, who leaned on County Leader Hy Singer for the W-P. Singer was probably not enthused about giving the W-P to Hynes again and getting very little for it, but he didn't really care if no Republican wanted to run. Nonetheless, it was very important that a GOP Executive Member like Susan Cleary be on board for Hynes, because at the time of the endorsements, two GOP leaders named Sutliffe opposed anything proposed by Golden. Also Albert Cleary's lawyer, Phillip Smallman, was an old Hynes hand from the days of the OSP. Smallman was active with the GOP and Brooklyn Conservative Party, and was very close to Golden's Chief of Staff Jerry Kassar. Once when told about newspaper inquiries concerning the Fisher-Giuca matters, Smallman nervously reacted with this: "Do I have something to worry about there ?"

Let's keep the focus where it does belong -- like Seigel repeats throughout his articles, the issue is not whether or not John Giuca was involved, or is or isn't a likable character -- it's whether he committed the murder...

The first comment maker was satisfied when I informed him about this follow-up.

Anonymous said...

As J Hayon would say, youre bring anti-Jew got pointing out facts... lol

Anonymous said...

As J Hayon would say, youre being anti-Jew for pointing out facts... lol

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Massey: The issue is whether the defendant received a fair trial as is his Constitutional right. Was there juror misconduct, abuse of process at summation, Brady or Rosario violations, et al that are more than harmless error? Upon careful examination, this particular case teeters closely between prosecutorial craftsmanship and just good trial
skills verses a lawyer crossing the line. ADA Nicolazzi was not at any time a protégé of Mike Vecchione. It is unfair to associate her with him. She was in fact mentored by Ken Taub who by all accounts is a straight arrow. I am no fan of the Hynes administration - trust me his advisors make the worst of our institutional Church leaders seem like a group of choir boys - but it amazes me how the same standard of criticism here at this blog against Hynes is not being applied to Ken Thompson's administration. Examine why that is.

Galewyn Massey said...



I would love to apply some sound Augustinian thinking to all of this neo-Manichaean-neo-Donatist-neo-Pelagianism .... But it's a Saturday in mid-August and the sun is shining here on the beach; and I must use all my intellectual powers to find my lost shaker of salt and find a place that sells good cold beer - cheap.

Anonymous said...

I think your answer is an example of punting, right?

And invoking Augustine?? Really? Isn't he ever the model of upright moral character . . . I would have expected Thomas More from one such as you.

Galewyn Massey said...

No, not punting, but prioritizing....

Galewyn Massey said...





First a slam by the Daily News, now more of the same from the New York Post ( See "Ghetto mobster or innocent man? An NYC murder case falls apart" by Hella Winston, 8/17/14, NY Post []). New York Post Writer Hella Winston's article opens with this sub-headline: "John Giuca was accused of being a gang boss who ordered the death of a teen. But as the case slowly falls apart, he may turn out to be just another victim of Brooklyn justice" What follows is a lengthy detailed analysis of the prosecutorial shortcomings of the case against John Giuca and another defendant, Antonio Russo, that Winston and the Post conclude were wrongly convicted of the murder of Mark Fisher on October 12, 2003.

Equally important, the Post story was picked up and echoed by influential bloggers. Notably joining the fray was a very influential blog in that part of Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish Community that has been long critical of the Brooklyn DA's Office -- "" (See "Another Alleged Wrongful Conviction Exposed In Brooklyn" 8/17/14, []). This retelling of the account in the Post pulls no punches, with stuff like this: "Mark Fisher was murdered in the early morning hours of October 12, 2003 in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Two men were eventually convicted of the murder – but only after prosecutors ignored evidence that could have cleared one of them and presented a case at trial they likely knew to be false...."
Failed Messiah doesn't hesitate to name names --- "The key players allegedly doing wrong in this case are disgraced former DA Rackets Bureau chief prosecutor Michael Vecchione and prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi. *** Vecchione left the DA's office in December after Hynes lost his reelection bid. Nicolazzi still works there. *** But if Winston's account of the Mark Fisher murder case is accurate, she probably shouldn't be. *** Angel DiPietro, the only person Fisher knew at that house party, changed her story about what happened that night multiple times before trial. *** But that did not stop Hynes from hiring her as prosecutor in 2012 – even though it likely should have. *** So goes 'justice' in Brooklyn."

Anonymous said...

Be careful Gale when you quote "Failed-Messiah". His posts are not limited to pedophilia in the community, on the contrary he has major ax to grind with the community in general. That does not discredit (most of) his reports on abuse in the community,just don't you and your readers to get the idea that he's got any real credibility about the Orthodox world what so ever.

Anonymous said...

No one wants an innocent man to remain imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. I think it is safe to say that with confidence. And what any of us writes on blogs is completely irrelevant to the question of whether the Giuca family will ever see justice in this situation. I've got no pony in this Galway race but my concern as evidenced again in the two stories you, Mr. Massey, reference is the creation of a false narrative concerning ADA Nicolazzi and Mike Vecchione. She is not Lauren Hirsh, or Laura Neubauer, or Kathleen Collins, or a young Ann Guttman who would follow every directive and emulation of Vecchione. In fact, she is the opposite. You are trying to discredit a prosecutor by associating her with another. In doing so, you lose credibility yourself. And that in itself is a grave injustice to the defendant and the young man you so vehemently advocate for. ADA Nicolazzi was not a protégé of Vecchione. It seems that this is the tactic being used by all of you who write and advocate on this case. It is not helpful to do this. And it diminishes some very valid arguments you may have for having this case reviewed. On another point, where is the collective outrage among you "anti-Hynes" bloggers and journalists about the fact that ADA DiPietra is still gainfully employed by Ken Thompson? There is no question of her at least tangential involvement and dishonesty regarding this case. yet, no one among you has expressed dismay that the current new administration has kept her on. Yet, you do not hesitate ever to make express reference that Hynes hired her. Why is Thompson getting a pass? And where is the anger over Judge Allan Marrus' denial of even a hearing on the discredited juror? Why not delve into the relationship between Hynes and Marrus. Was Justin Marrus hired as an ADA before or after the denial of the 440? Who was thanking whom? Do that kind of muckraking journalism perhaps, instead of throwing all of your energy into discrediting an excellent prosecutor. Stop flogging a dead horse, Mr. Massey. Mr. Hynes is gone and I'm hearing he doesn't even leave his second -level deck out there by the on the Riviera.

Anonymous said...

This blog doesn't understand how criminal law or prosecuting in NYC works, and what constitutes misconduct by a prosecutor and what doesn't. The posts and most of the comments here are just basing their opinions on the spin of some defense attorney, and some other professional muckrakers, who share an obvious agenda vis a vis Mr. Guica.

This blog might even be a part of that spin machine. Why else treat the defense side's words in the Post and News as gospel.

It's unfortunate that with DA Hynes gone, blogs like this one have turned their sighs on the new Brooklyn DA Thompson and longtime crackerjack trial ADA Nicolazzi.