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Roper launches 2nd run for DA

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Posted by GET NY on 21:52:31 01/29/05

Roper launches 2nd run for DA
Sandra E. Roper announces she will again challenge District Attorney Charles Hynes outside Brooklyn Borough Hall on Wednesday.

By Jotham Sederstrom

The Brooklyn Papers
January 22, 2005

A lawyer indicted on felony charges in 2003, after giving District Attorney Charles Hynes a run for his political life two years earlier, announced a second bid on Wednesday to topple the chief prosecutor.

Referencing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Sandra Roper said her decision to challenge Hynes was not born of a political grudge, but rather a "prioritization of the interests of Brooklyn."

"To speak I must, and I will continue to speak to bring justice and not politics to the people of Brooklyn," said Roper, flanked by supporters with campaign posters. "I will continue that struggle that I started in 2001 because it's something that's right and just and should be done."

The Jan. 19 announcement, near Borough Hall, comes one month before she is re-tried on felony charges of doctoring a retainer to elicit $9,000 from Roper aunt Mary Lee Ward after agreeing to represent her free of charge in a dispute with a lending firm in Canarsie. Last year, her trial on those charges ended in a hung jury.

Those charges surfaced as Roper was collecting signatures for her 2001 challenge of Hynes, district attorney since 1989. Although he defeated the former NAACP chairwoman, she garnered 37 percent of the vote despite being a political novice with no name recognition and despite Hynes' relentless challenges to her nominating petitions that kept her in court, and off the campaign trail, for much of that fall.

Hynes maintains that while the case was brought to his attention, it was referred to the city's chief justice, Joan Carey, who assigned special prosecutor Melinda Fritz to handle it.
Asked about targeting Roper and accusations of targeting political opponents, Kings County Democratic Party spokesman Bob Liff said, "Sorry, Joe [Hynes, it's not an indictable offense to run against you."

On Tuesday, Hynes said of Roper's expected announcement the next day, "I have nothing but reverence and gratitude to Sandra Roper. She was the one who woke me up. That someone with no qualifications at the time - and maybe she's more qualified today - got 37 percent of the vote. I assure you that ain't going to happen again."

Besides Roper, Hynes is expected to be challenged by state Sen. John Sampson, Councilman David Yassky, former Koch administration official Arnold Kriss and lawyers Mark Peters and Paul Wooten.

Asked if he had advice for Roper on the eve of her campaign announcement, Hynes indicated that he welcomed a crowded Democratic Primary field.

"Go for it, you know, go for it," said Hynes. "I mean, if I could keep all six of these people ... I'm thinking of having a joint fundraiser to keep them all in."




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