Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will be deposed in the civil rights case of a man who spent more than 22 years in prison before his murder and robbery convictions were vacated. Eastern District Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak (See Profile) permitted Cy Greene’s attorneys to question Hynes for two hours on matters such as the training and discipline of his prosecutors.
Greene was convicted in 1985. After Freedom of Information requests and post-conviction challenges, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Pesce (See Profile) granted Greene’s vacatur motion on faulty trial counsel grounds in 2006. Prosecutors dropped the case in 2007 and Greene sued in 2008 seeking unspecified compensatory damages and $22.5 million in punitive damages.
Greene asserts deliberate indifference to police and prosecutorial misconduct led to his conviction, and indifference to Brady and Rosario obligations continued his incarceration.
Greene sought to depose Hynes in June 2013, days after Eastern District Judge Robert Levy (See Profile) allowed Hynes’ deposition in the Jabbar Collins case (NYLJ, June 13, 2013). Collins had his 1995 murder conviction vacated and filed claims of deliberate law enforcement indifference. He settled with the state for $3 million; his claim against the city is pending (NYLJ, July 11, 2014).
Pollak initially rebuffed Greene’s deposition request but ordered the DA’s office to produce witnesses who could testify on internal policies. Greene’s attorneys questioned three assistant district attorneys but renewed the request to depose Hynes as they said the trio did not yield sufficient information.
“Deposing additional witnesses at this juncture, instead of Mr. Hynes, would only result in the production of more second-hand information,” Pollak wrote in Greene v. City of New York, 08-cv-243.
Greene is represented by Myron Beldock, a partner at Beldock Levine & Hoffman, and associate Joshua S. Moskovitz.
The city is represented by Peter A. Sullivan and Lisa A. Chiarini, partners at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, and associate Meaghan Gragg.