By James King (The Village Voice)
October 16, 2012
The attorney who represented Nafissatou Diallo -- the hotel maid who accused French pol Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her in a Manhattan hotel last year -- announced yesterday that he's looking to unseat longtime Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, and there's already suggestions that the only reason he represented Diallo (possibly free of charge) was to garner name recognition for a potential run for public office.
Former federal prosecutor Kenneth Thomspon registered last week with the Board of Elections to challenge Hynes, who has been in office since 1989, and has received criticism as of late for his handling of sex abuse allegations within Orthdox Jewish communities in the borough.
Thompson, however, has his own criticisms to overcome.
On behalf of Diallo, Thompson filed a $1 million lawsuit against DSK, despite the fact that charges against the former IMF chief were dropped by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office when Diallo's honesty came into question -- it was determined that she repeatedly lied to police about the supposed rape.
Thompson's handling of the case -- and the media circus he created -- drew criticism from other New York City prosecutors.
Thompson isn't the only person to challenge Hynes this election -- former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Abe George also has said he plans to challenge Hynes.
Thompson tells the New York Times that he's entered the race to "get the guns off the streets in Brooklyn."
From the Times:
Brooklyn is changing, Mr. Thompson said, and after nearly 25 years under the leadership of Mr. Hynes, the district attorney's office should change, too. But he declined to specify what he wanted to change about the office.
"I don't really want to talk about D.A. Hynes," he said of this early stage. "I am willing to talk about me."
Mr. George, 34, has been less reticent, attacking Mr. Hynes for what Mr. George called "playing politics" with the office. He said that Mr. Hynes prosecuted political opponents and did not investigate accusations of sexual abuse involving the ultra-Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn, who have strongly supported Mr. Hynes's past campaigns, and that Mr. Hynes let the Police Department's stop-and-frisk practices dictate policy in his office.