Indicted Hamilton Co. judge headed for trial

A juvenile court judge accused of misusing county credit cards and backdating court documents could go on trial as early as June, the judge overseeing her case said Tuesday.
Associated Press
Mar 5, 2014

 

Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter, 47, did not attend a court hearing for scheduling matters on Tuesday. She has pleaded not guilty to nine felony charges of tampering with evidence, forgery and theft in office.

Because Hunter’s attorney recently was replaced with a new one, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Norbert Nadel postponed the scheduling hearing until March 26, when he said Hunter’s trial likely will be set for June or September, depending on the availability of all the parties.

Hunter’s new attorney, Clyde Bennett, declined to comment on the case Tuesday.

Hunter, who was released from custody pending her trial, was last in court on Jan. 17 to plead not guilty.

The Ohio Supreme Court disqualified her from hearing cases after she was indicted and appointed a retired judge to help handle her caseload until her charges are resolved. The state’s high court had earlier held her in contempt for continuing to bar newspaper reporters from hearings.

Her January indictment followed an investigation by two special prosecutors that was prompted by a memo accusing Hunter or someone in her office of backdating court documents in “a conscious act of deception”

In a Sept. 13 memo to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, chief assistant prosecuting attorney Bill Breyer wrote that the first case of backdating related to a July 23 oral ruling by Hunter preventing prosecutors from introducing evidence at a trial. Prosecutors had one week to appeal the written order. It was filed Aug. 22 but was backdated to appear as though it were filed July 23, according to the memo, which cited an affidavit obtained from the court’s software provider.

Another ruling was backdated by a week, the memo stated.

Hunter also is accused of using her county-issued credit card to pay court fees stemming from lawsuits against her and ordering that her brother — who provided security for the court before he was fired — be paid overtime.

Hunter became a judge in 2012 following a lengthy legal battle over disputed 2010 juvenile judge election results. After her indictment, Hunter suggested there were opponents to her because of changes she wants in juvenile court and because she is a black Democrat.

Comments

holysee

Clearly a set-up by the teabircher repuglicons.

Babo

Your language is a bit harsh, but I agree that this is a politically motivated prosecution brought by Joe Deters (has a record of dirty politics and corruption) and the Gannett owned Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper.

The Judge had legitimate reasons for closing juvenile proceedings to the media, but the Enquirer went ballistic and sued the Judge for access. The Republican dominated county apparatus was very angry that she won her election challenge and refused to provide her with a legal defense unless she accepted lawyers that were politically aligned against her. As a result she had to pay her own way and used the county credit card for legitimate lawsuit related fees.

If she were a white male Republican covering up child sexual abuse by the politically connected in juvenile court proceedings she would be looking at a fast track career to the Ohio Supreme Court. After all she allegedly back dates documents which as Julie R points out occurs in Erie County and well as other courts.

whattheBucks

I know were a few days late for this year but I would like to honor her next February !

jacksonbrowne

Bahaha

Julie R.

They backdate court documents in Erie County, too.

Darwin's choice

"there were opponents to her because she is a black democrat" soon to be felon.... Typical!

sorryhog

The case has not come to trial, so until the facts are brought to light, no one can jump to conclusions.

whattheBucks

Sorry hog, but that's what people do on here,

West

By the way, lets not forget that she's also charged with Having an unlawful interest in a public contract too.

West

Wasn't the Erie County Prosecutor, accused of Having an Unlawful interest in a public contract regarding the loans he obtained for his ferry business?

Babo

He wasn't charged for that alleged crime because he was able to have the lawyer who made the allegation charged with falsification for pointing out the illegal nature of the contract. He was also alleged to have engaged in illegal drug use (since confirmed by the AG) and to have abused his office to extort sex from an African American woman by threat of criminal charges.

Ironic isn't it?