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Prattsville Supervisor Kory O’Hara pleads guilty in Irene fraud

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Prattsville Supervisor Kory O’Hara pleads guilty in Irene fraud


O’Hara, clad in a gray suit, pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud before Senior U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin.

The conviction of the 44-year-old carries a maximum of 20 years in prison term, but under federal sentencing guidelines can be as low as zero to six months behind bars. O’Hara agreed not to appeal any sentence of 14 months or less.

In August 2011, the tropical storm devastated Prattsville, a town of some 700 people, when floodwater from the Schoharie Creek overran its banks and forced some victims to cling to rooftops to survive. Federal aid was needed to help rebuild homes and businesses, build two new bridges and reconstruct Prattsville’s Main Street and a recreation complex.

In 2013, when the Times Union reported that critics in the town were complaining that town officials misused tens of thousands of dollars, O’Hara said the criticism was “ridiculous.” He had lost his family-run business, O’Hara’s Service Station, in the flood, he noted, calling the gripes politically motivated.

On Monday, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyrus Rieck detailed 24 pages of O’Hara’s plea agreement, including the former town leader’s series of fraudulent exchanges under false pretenses, O’Hara admitted he broke the law.

“The facts just recited — are they, in essence, correct?” the judge asked O’Hara.

“Yes,” he responded.

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