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O’Hara tries for pardon again

December 28, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Attorney John O’Hara has been at this point before.

The year is almost over and he is seeking a pardon from the sitting governor of New York for his conviction for illegal voting.

A retired New York City Civil Court Judge, Eileen Nadelson, is representing O’Hara pro bono and it was she who formally petitioned Governor Andrew Cuomo for the pardon in the run-up to Christmas.

O’Hara has tried for a pardon in the past, first with Governor George Pataki, and then by way of Governor David Paterson, but neither gave him the all clear.

Nadelson, in her petition to Cuomo, states that the petition does not request that he override, or annul, a decision by the New York Court of Appeals which had ruled against O’Hara in his case.

“I only wish to point out that under similar circumstances there continues to be differing results. Mr. O’Hara paid a high fine, was sentenced to three years probation and went on record as a felon. Others in similar cases, at the very worst, faced losing their right to vote in the current election. Mr. O’Hara on the other hand, was stripped of his voting rights and, more importantly, his legal license,” she wrote Cuomo.

Nadelson is of the view that O’Hara’s conviction is “one of a kind” and so merits a one of a kind pardon.

O’Hara has fulfilled the requirements of his sentencing, including the performing of 1500 hours of community service and he has had lis license to practice law restored.

But he has continued to state that he will not rest easy until he secures a formal pardon. Governors traditionally grant pardons in the closing days of the year.

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