We were as surprised as most Brooklynites to learn the results of the city Department of Investigations probe into the actions of former Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes during his last term in office, and extremely saddened as well.Among the findings in the detailed, 27-page report the result of an investigation started in November, 2013 are that Hynes regularly used his official email and other government resources for his reelection campaign.According to DOI, this includes upwards of $200,000 of assets forfeited by Brooklyn criminals in 2012 and 2013 to pay a public relations consultant to the DAs office for work that, the DOI report alleges, was considerably more focused on the campaign than on city business.The report concludes that DOIs findings open Hynes to potential prosecution for larceny (for the alleged misuse of the forfeited assets) as well as official misconduct which, if it comes to pass, would be a very sad end indeed to a long and often distinguished career.DRIVING SAFETY HOME With the recent passage of an extensive package of bills and resolutions by the City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasios Vision Zero initiative whose goal is to reduce pedestrian and cyclist fatalities across the city to zero comes one step closer to fruition. Focusing on reducing speed limits and increasing the use of traffic calming devices, as well as holding those who injure or kill pedestrians or cyclists responsible for their actions, the package is a first step toward taming traffic. That said, we hope that the city will closely monitor the changes to make sure they work, and do not bring vehicular traffic to a standstill, making whatever alterations turn out to be necessary to keep traffic moving while also keeping residents safe, rather than considering the changes an end in themselves. We also hope the city will work to improve its public transportation, to give residents an alternative means of getting where they need to go, and step up enforcement of dangerous driving behavior, which is really at the root of the problem that impacts us all.
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