Assemblyman Dov Hikind touted the many “other opportunities” awaiting him when he abruptly announced his retirement — and one of them may involve a rematch with the feds, The Post has learned.
The Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office slapped subpoenas on a Brooklyn-based Jewish charity that funneled millions in taxpayer cash to another nonprofit, which hired Hikind’s two sons, both organizations confirmed.
At least one of the subpoenas was served in early December, following an exclusive Post report that revealed how Hikind quietly helped steer $3.1 million in state funding to the Bikur Cholim Chesed Organization, also known as Guardians of the Sick.
That cash got passed along to a charity called Our Place, where records reveal Hikind’s adult sons, Yoni and Shmuel Hikind, were employed as counselors for troubled Jewish teens.
It’s unclear whether Dov Hikind, 67, has been personally targeted by the feds, but a leader in Brooklyn’s Jewish community said the probe clearly “weighed heavily on the timing of his decision not to run for re-election.”
“He’d been actively campaigning . . . and if you ask him what he’s doing, it’s not like he has a plan. He doesn’t have anything else lined up,” the source said.
The 18-term Brooklyn Democrat — who sparked controversy in 2013 by wearing blackface while hosting a costume party celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim — unexpectedly announced his retirement from the Assembly late last month in a YouTube video that was vague on his future plans.
Hikind beat a federal corruption rap at trial in 1998, even though a co-defendant, Paul Chernick, pleaded guilty to bribing him in exchange for state funding for the Council of Jewish Organizations of Boro Park, while Chernick was its director.
Jurors also convicted another COJO official, Rabbi Elimelech Naiman, of bribing Hikind. An appeals court later tossed the bribery conviction, but Naiman served a two-year prison term for misuse of COJO funds and related mail fraud.
In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s since-disbanded Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption forwarded information it compiled about Hikind to Brooklyn federal prosecutors for potential investigation, a source told The Post at the time.
The referral involved pork-barrel funds that Hikind steered to Maimonides Medical Center in his district, which paid Hikind $65,000 to produce ads on his radio show, according to reports.
Last year, Hikind’s campaign-finance reports revealed he paid $68,000 to the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan for “final payment for 2014 legal services,” according to the Albany Times Union.
He also reimbursed himself for the $15,000 he paid the firm in May 2014, the report said.
Hikind’s most recent campaign filing, in January, showed he had more than $500,000 on hand.
Said Hikind spokesman Yehuda Meth, “Neither the assemblyman nor our office have received a subpoena for anything. The assemblyman’s decision to not run for re-election was based entirely on his desire to do new things after 36 years in office.”
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