In the News

Pardon him, Governor
New York Daily News
Dec. 21, 2009

Supreme Court of NY Appellate Decision reinstating O'Hara's license

Rumble In Brooklyn: John O'Hara vs. Charles Hynes
(New York Press cover)

NY Supreme Court Decision for O'Hara's reinstatement to practice law

Committee on Character and Fitness Final Report

O'Hara vs. Hynes: The Case Against the Lawless D.A.
New York Press

In Brooklyn, Prosecutor's Race is a Grudge Match
New York Times

Meet the New Boss: Man vs. Machine Politics in Brooklyn
Harper's Magazine (PDF)

Harper's Report: Hynes Did Crime; O'Hara Did Time
The Brooklyn Papers

Governor Pardons Hip-Hop Pioneer
New York Times

Convicted of Voting Violation, O'Hara Appeals to Governor
New York Sun

Hope for Busted Voter
New York Daily News

Courting Trouble
New Zealand Herald

The Slave Auction and the End of the Kung-Fu Judge
Brooklyn Rail

Pol Pleads: Pardon Me – I Only Voted!
New York Daily News

New York Man Fights Illegal Voting Conviction
Boston Globe



Pol Pleads: Pardon Me — I Only Voted!

New York Daily News
August 29, 2008

By Jotham Sederstrom

Brooklyn political gadfly John O'Hara wants to wipe the slate clean of a decade-old voter fraud conviction - and he thinks rapper Slick Rick can help.

O'Hara, a five-time candidate for public office who lost his license to practice law after being convicted in 1997, was expected to file for a pardon today, he told the Daily News.

"A horrible precedent is set when you lock up a person for voting," said O'Hara, 47, who divides his time in Sunset Park and New Jersey. "If a pardon is issued, it's like it never happened. It wipes out the precedent."

O'Hara believes his request could get a boost from Gov. Paterson's decision to pardon rapper Ricky (Slick Rick) Walters, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Walters served more than five years in prison after pleading guilty in 1991 to attempted murder and weapons charges after shooting his cousin and a bystander.

Paterson issued the pardon in May - two months after being named governor - to help the bling-loving Walters escape federal deportation to his native England.

Walters, best known for songs like "La-Di-Da-Di" and "Children's Story," was born in Great Britain and moved to the Bronx with his family when he was 11.

"Listen, he issued a pardon to someone who pled guilty to shooting two people," O'Hara said on Wednesday. "I don't know the details of his case, but all I did was vote."

District Attorney Charles Hynes said O'Hara registered to vote from his galpal's address on 47th St. in Sunset Park while he maintained a permanent residence 15 blocks away.

O'Hara was indicted in 1996 on seven felony counts of having registered to vote and having voted from a temporary address four years earlier.

O'Hara, a former candidate for state Assembly and City Council, completed a community service stint last May.

A spokeswoman for Paterson declined to comment on O'Hara's request or the decision to grant the pardon to Walters.

Of the hundreds who request commutations or pardons in New York State each year, only seven are granted on average, a Paterson spokeswoman said.

Paterson has only granted one pardon so far - to Slick Rick.