This is a DOJ podcast program where nationally recognized top level prosecutors are interviewed.
Peter Ko was the only person we, the Hiring Committee, ever hired straight out of law school. I was actually in the minority and preferred hires with former prosecutorial experience, like DA’s.
Boy was I wrong, I have since referred to Pete as the Rookie of the Year and a perennial All-Star. He has rapidly risen though the ranks in San Diego, basically running the place (take it easy, Pete, that’s just me flapping my gums).
We tried a major case together, along with Matt Parrella, who likewise rocketed through the ranks in Northern California. It was a murder for hire case, quite gruesome, involving the DuPont family – as in DuPont Chemical, billionaires from Delaware.
The trial was covered every day for Vanity Fair by the late Dominick Dunne, and after the verdict, he gave high praise to Pete (which frankly irritated me, since I was lead counsel – at least in theory). Again, just kidding Pete.
Anyway, perhaps the highest praise I’ve ever received (aside from praise from myself) was recently given by Pete in this podcast. Completely took me off guard.
So, Pete speaks about me at around 4:57, but listen to the whole thing, if just to hear about his accomplishments and his evolution to a prosecutor of the highest order.
And don’t worry, Pete – the check’s in the mail.
Reads the “Epilogue” from this related article. Pete is also a master of comedy.
In 1997 Pete had tuned in to a new ABC comedy, “Over The Top”. He was impressed. Very impressed. He wrote:
“Horace Walpole once wrote, ‘The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel’ ”, wrote Pete. He continued, “No offense to the Hormeister, who after all was one of the great gadflies of 18th century English literary and artistic society, but in this case I think he was wrong. Dead wrong. Because I’m thinking like a sonuvabitch, and I still can’t see anything funny about Over the Top.”
After panning star Tim Curry, Pete set his sights on Steve Carell, Curry’s second banana, and current star of “Foxcatcher”:
“Of course, not even Hitler managed to cheese off several races and the Allied powers all by himself. Much in the way that young Adolf had his Heinrich Himmler, Tim Curry has his Steve Carell… [whose] performance as what appeared to be a deaf-mute European chef caused anyone watching the show with a modicum of taste to start tearing at their hair while screeching, ‘Get it off my TV! Get it off my TV! Take it away! Oh god, what have we done to the kids….’ ”
Pete ended with a brilliant flourish:
“I wish I could say that Carell is bad—but that would imply that I have some frame of reference to judge him against. The truth is I have never seen anything like what I saw last Tuesday night. I have stood in a freezer full of dead people at the morgue. I have seen a man’s scalp pulled back over his nose. I’ve even seen 35 minutes of Ellen DeGeneres’s “Mr. Wrong.” But I can now honestly say that until Steve Carell’s turn in the premiere of Over the Top, I have never known true horror.”
As if the bitingly hilarious review is not enough, there is even more to this story.
In 2006, at the 22nd annual Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Awards, Steve Carell was the winner for Individual Achievement in Comedy award for “The Office.” His acceptance speech included reading Pete’s review! E tu, Ko.
Still not done.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, as recently as November 23, 2014, in a chat with Carell, his pal Stephen Colbert “…revealed he was so impressed by the reviewer’s writing, he asked the reviewer, Peter Ko, to be a writer for The Colbert Report, but Ko wasn’t remotely interested.” According to Pete, he got an e-mail from Colbert saying “nice writing”, but no job offer.
Thomas M. O’Connell is the former Senior Litigation Counsel and Chief of the Narcotics and Violent Crimes Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to his 13 years in the Las Vegas U.S. Attorneys Office, he served for 8 years in the Northern District of California. Tom retired in 2013 and relocated back to Las Vegas. Since then, he has helped trained Las Vegas Metro, North Las Vegas and Henderson police, and U.S. Probation. He’s addressed inmates at High Desert State Prison and guest lectured at both UNLV and Boyd School of Law.