New York Post
February 18, 2004

Hynes Picks on Foes: Pol

Jeane MacIntosh
 
A political foe of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes yesterday charged him with selectively prosecuting his political enemies.

Brooklyn lawyer Sandra Roper filed a motion in Brooklyn Supreme Court to dismiss a criminal indictment against her, alleging she was charged after Hynes learned she was challenging him in the 2001 Democratic primary.

"It is Ms. Roper's position that she . . . was selected for criminal prosecution by DA Hynes [because] she opposed him in the September, 2001 primary election," the motion charges.

Roper contends the DA has a historical "pattern" of going after those who challenge him.

The motion names other alleged targets of Hynes' selective prosecution, including:

* John Phillips, a civil court judge who also had announced plans to run against Hynes.

Roper's motion claims Phillips' assets were frozen by Hynes' office - effectively cutting off funding for a political run - after the DA ordered guardianship and mental competency proceedings against the aging judge.

* John Kennedy O'Hara, a longtime political gadfly and Roper supporter who made headlines when he was brought up on - and convicted of - nearly unprecedented illegal voting charges in 1999.

O'Hara voted in the wrong district, was prosecuted by Hynes and was convicted after three trials. He became the only person other than suffragette Susan B. Anthony, in 1876, to be charged and convicted of illegal voting.

Neither Phillips nor O'Hara are plaintiffs in Roper's suit.

The indictment against Roper accuses her of stealing and withholding property from a client, Mary Lee Ward, and falsifying a retainer agreement.

Hynes' criminal probe, which is based on Ward's claims, began in August 2001, a month after Roper announced her candidacy in the DA race.

Ward had brought the same complaint against Roper to the Bar Association's Grievance Committee, which dismissed it.

Roper, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, alleges Ward had lodged the same complaints against four other attorneys.

Hynes spokesman Jerry Schmetterer did not return calls.

© 2004, NYP Holdings, Inc.



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