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Charles J. Hynes dies; former Brooklyn district attorney was 83

Charles J. Hynes announces the indictment of Father

Charles J. Hynes announces the indictment of Father Francis X. Nelson on sexual abuse counts on May 23, 2002. Credit: Newsday/Mayita Mendez

Charles J. Hynes, a former Brooklyn district attorney who served 24 years as the top law enforcement officer in New York City's most populous borough, has died at age 83.

Hynes died Tuesday at a hospice in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Sean Hynes said on Wednesday that his father had been in failing health for some time.

Hynes was first elected district attorney in 1989 and served until 2013, when he lost his re-election bid to Kenneth Thompson in the Democratic primary. Thompson died of cancer in 2016.

A former Legal Aid lawyer, Hynes was at first known as a reformer who started pioneering drug-treatment and domestic violence prevention programs.

But his legacy was tarnished by reports that prosecutors in his office secured convictions by coercing witnesses into giving false testimony.

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