John Cranley practices in the Real Estate Group and is co-chair of the firm’s Government Affairs practice area. John focuses on complex public-private finance, where he has extensive experience with tax increment financing, New Markets Tax Credits, and municipal bond issuance. John has performed professional legal services for clients such as North American Properties, 3CDC, Al. Neyer, Inc., Neyer Properties, Macy's, First Financial, and Cincinnati State Community and Technical College.

John also engages in consulting work, including but not limited to, political consulting on issue and/or legislation, and helping to facilitate investments in solar energy. John is helping a half dozen solar developers and electric rural cooperatives take advantage of federal funds available for solar and wind projects.

John’s extensive New Markets Tax Credits experience includes representing Paycor, Inc., U-Square, LLC, Castellini Holdings, CityLink Center, Uptown Rentals, LLC, and the Ohio National Life Insurance Company. John also has extensive municipal bond experience, including, but not limited to, helping to convert of private taxable bonds issued for the renovation of Fountain Square and the Gateway Quarter public parking garages into tax exempt bonds on behalf of 3CDC. John handled these matters while at KMK Law from 2008 to 2013.

Prior to re-joining KMK Law, John served as the 69th Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio from 2013-2022, where he led an unprecedented revitalization of the city. Under John’s leadership the city reversed six decades of population loss, the first major Ohio city to ever do so. Under his leadership, Cincinnati grew twice as fast as the state of Ohio and reduced poverty 1.5x faster than the state. John led efforts to build the largest municipal solar array in the country, helped lead efforts to bring FCC to Cincinnati, and helped usher in over 20,000 new jobs and over $10 Billion in new investments. 

In addition, John served eight years on Cincinnati City Council. From 2001-2008, John served as chair of the Finance Committee, and in 2003, he was instrumental in creating Tax Increment Finance Districts in Cincinnati, which have led to increased economic development in the city.

John was the founder and co-director of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law (2002-2006), which, through the use of DNA-technology, has exonerated more than 30 innocent Ohioans. During that time, he was also an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Professional and Community Involvement

Ohio Innocence Project, Founder and Co-Director (2002-2006)

Cincinnati Bar Association

Ohio State Bar Association

Awards & Recognition

Endorsed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Toledo Blade in 2022 Democratic gubernatorial campaign

Endorsed by the Cincinnati Enquirer for election to Mayor in 2013, Congress in 2006 and City Council in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Distinguished Public Service Award, Harry  S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, 2004

First Class Marshal, Harvard Law School Class of 1999; graduation speaker

Truman Scholar, 1995

News & Resources

Speaking Engagements


  • Ohio


J.D., Harvard Law School, 1999

M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 2000

B.A., John Carroll University, 1996; magna cum laude

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