KEO, New York
Punishment: Five years probation.
In August of 2003, an aide for Presidential candidate Howard Dean wanted a graffiti background for a promotional event in Bryant Park. Despite being "leery from the jump," KEO needed the money at the time and took the job.
Dean's opponents immediately seized on the graffiti background, saying it sent the wrong message. Republican politician James Oddo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg put pressure on the Vandal Squad to get KEO arrested. He was picked up on an outstanding warrant arriving home from a trip filming Bomb The System. The warrant had been issued in 1999 for graffiti on subway cars at 148th and Lenox. One report said an officer who worked the case in '99 recognized KEO's work from a newspaper article discussing his role in the Howard Dean controversy.
KEO was charged with one felony count of criminal mischief. He was represented by Ron Kuby, and because of the case's high profile, the city offered little chance for leniency. KEO took a plea that got him five years probation.