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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha’s mayor wants the City Council to broaden her power to pardon people who violate certain city codes.

Mayor Jean Stothert’s proposal to allow her to pardon people convicted of any city ordinance violation will go before the council Tuesday. The council will vote next week, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

Stothert currently can pardon those convicted under city ordinance of misdemeanor assault and battery and damage to property. But the mayor can’t pardon residents in instances such as failing to restrain a dog or keeping a dirty yard.

The expansion wouldn’t permit the mayor to pardon someone convicted of a federal or state crime, said Matt Kuhse, the city prosecutor.

A mayoral pardon doesn’t erase a conviction from an individual’s criminal history, but it will show that a pardon was granted.

It’s a “formal act of forgiveness” that could benefit someone seeking a job, Kuhse said.

“If it’s asked on a job application if you’ve been convicted of a crime, you’d still have to answer yes,” he said. “But they’d be able to say, ‘I received pardon.'”

Stothert said she wants to give residents another opportunity when they’re seeking employment.

The Mayor’s Office has processed 235 pardon requests since Stothert became mayor five years ago, said Marty Bilek, Stothert’s chief of staff. More than 75 of the requests were approved and granted.

Former City Attorney Tom Mumgaard submitted a pardon application to the mayor for an illegal gambling conviction two decades ago. He pleaded guilty to participating in a football pool at City Hall, but said he since hasn’t participated in sports betting. The conviction is the only criminal citation Mumgaard has received.

He said requesting the pardon was meaningful.

“I wanted to ask even if I didn’t get it,” Mumgaard said. “I wanted to express my regret, and so I did. I expressed my regret.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald,