With testimony from Dov Hikind’s own former chief of staff, prosecutors this week sought to fortify their claim that the assemblyman used government funds from Brooklyn’s largest Jewish community council as a kind of private cash reserve for political and personal needs.
Jeff Reznik, Hikind’s chief of staff between 1993 and 1995, testified Monday that Hikind helped him get a job with an affiliate of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Boro Park after he told Hikind his staff salary of about $30,000 per year was insufficient.
Chai L’Yisrael, the cheaper of the two at $180 round trip from New York, is offering flights tied to the May 17 election for prime minister and parliament, the Knesset. The latter will decide the fate of the Orthodox religious parties.
Kesher’s round-trip flights are for an expected June 1 runoff between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud Party and Ehud Barak of the left-leaning One Israel Party. Kesher’s fares are $449 from New York and $649 from Los Angeles.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind, on trial for corruption, has told intimates that he is considering running his wife, Shoshana, in his place this fall if he is forced to withdraw from his re-election campaign, Borough Park and Democratic Party sources have told The Jewish Week.
But according to one widely respected local leader, if Hikind is convicted on any of the federal felony charges, “The community would be less supportive [of such a move] than he might imagine.”
A key prosecution witness has been harassed and threatened in an effort to intimidate him from testifying in the trial of Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Rabbi Elimelech Naiman, federal prosecutors claimed this week.
The alleged tactics, by members of the Ger chasidic sect, have not been tied by prosecutors to either of the defendants. And at the judge’s urging, Naiman, a Ger leader, has obtained rulings from Ger religious courts in Jerusalem and Brooklyn demanding that any such actions cease.
The courtroom light switches off, the overhead projector flicks on. And once more, the prosecutor speaks dryly of checks, contracts and budgets as the documents are projected on screen to the jurors. There are checks from the Council of Jewish Organizations of Boro Park — then Brooklyn’s largest Jewish community council — and its spinoffs to the political coffers of Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and other political campaigns.
There are government contracts sponsored by Hikind and awarded to the council for social service programs.
Were contracts drawn up by senior officials of Brooklyn’s largest Jewish community council in response to subpoenas long after the work was supposedly done complete fabrications? Or was real work accomplished without agreements being signed at the time?
In the wake of testimony this week at the trial of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, it is virtually certain that point will be vigorously contested by prosecutors and defense lawyers.
One side painted the charity and the assemblyman as partners in a complex web of corruption, deceit and political manipulation.
The other side cited their partnership as the instrument that lifted up the lives of hundreds of thousands, Jews and non-Jews, helping them find jobs, housing and training.
Just two weeks from trial, the federal corruption case against Assemblyman Dov Hikind took a surprising turn last week when one of his two codefendants suddenly pleaded guilty to paying off the Brooklyn political leader.
Paul Chernick, a top official of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Boro Park, then Brooklyn’s largest Jewish community council, told a Brooklyn court last Thursday that he had made illegal payoffs to Hikind in exchange for government grants Hikind secured for the council.
Twentieth Century Fox will not distribute the controversial film "The Passion," Mel Gibson's take on the death of Jesus. The announcement by Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, came as a small group led by Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind protested at Fox News Corp. headquarters in Manhattan on Aug. 28. Some interfaith scholars have warned that "The Passion" could fuel anti-Semitism because of its portrayal of Jews as being behind Jesus' crucifixion.
Two years ago, Brooklyn State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson was hailed by several Jewish women's groups for forcing an obstinate Orthodox husband to give a get, or religious divorce, to his young Sephardic wife.
In a landmark decision, Garson invoked the 1983 New York State Get Law and ordered the husband to pay his 22-year-old wife of four months the sum of $500 a week in permanent maintenance because he refused to "remove a barrier to her remarriage" by denying her the get.