By Kyle Pope • New York Observer
A documentary producer who has worked extensively with filmmaker Michael Moore is picking up the cause of a Brooklyn-based kosher meatpacking executive now on trial in Iowa.
Meghan O'Hara, nominated for an Oscar for her work with Mr. Moore on the health-care documentary Sicko, said she is sending a film crew to Iowa next week to interview locals and to attend the sentencing by Judge Linda Reade.
The executive, Sholom Rubashkin, faces up to 25 years—an unusually harsh sentence—following a federal raid against his kosher slaughterhouse, Agriprocessors. The F.B.I. raided Agriprocessors in May 2008 and arrested 389 workers who lacked proper documentation. Mr. Rubashkin later was charged with bank fraud. His case has prompted protests from rabbis across the country, who say he is being unfairly treated and faces a sentence that is disproportionate.
Ms. O'Hara, whose company Honest Engine is investigating the case, said while Mr. Rubashkin is "easy to vilify, it's the conflicted characters who are always the most interesting."
In addition to working with Mr. Moore on Sicko, she also has served as a producer on Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 911.