Clear John O'Hara's wrongly stained record
Ex-Brooklyn DA Joe Hynes hypocritically targeted a political enemy for outlandish punishment, which DA Ken Thompson must wash clean
New York Daily News
Jan. 18, 2015
It’s time to clear the record of John O’Hara, an attorney and gadfly who was turned into a felon by the persecuting machinations of former Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes.
O’Hara has filed a petition for exoneration in Brooklyn Supreme Court. Hynes’ successor, DA Ken Thompson, should give his blessing and a judge grant approval forthwith.
As this page has documented, O’Hara persistently annoyed both Hynes and Hynes’ patrons in the Brooklyn Democratic machine. Hynes struck back by indicting O’Hara for voting from the wrong address — not a fake address, but the address of his girlfriend who lived 14 blocks away.
Vengefully, Hynes brought O’Hara to trial three times before convicting him on seven counts; he was fined $20,000, sentenced to 1,500 hours of community service and disbarred.
At that moment, O’Hara joined Susan B. Anthony as the only two New Yorkers ever to be convicted of illegal voting.
“Mr. O’Hara, accurately it appears, claims that the machine went gunning for him,” reported a panel of lawyers who successfully recommended in 2009 that the courts restore his law license.
Now, O’Hara is seeking to have his case washed out on grounds of selective prosecution. Papers filed by his lawyer, Joel Rudin, highlight Hynes’ hypocrisies.
Hynes, who owns a condo in Breezy Point, Queens, registered to vote from the DA’s office in Brooklyn.
His former top assistant district attorney registered to vote from his parents’ house in Queens while living with his family in Long Island.
Hynes, who also convicted O’Hara of filing a false instrument, forged his own wife’s signature on a legal document.
As a candidate, Thompson ripped Hynes’ “double standard” in prosecuting O’Hara. His office now says it will “determine if his conviction should stand.”
It should not. Thompson must say so, and a judge must give O’Hara long-overdue justice.