County to pay $883,000 in legal fees from court battle with Judge Hunter
Hamilton County will pay $883,000 to cover legal fees for Judge Tracie Hunter. That's lower than the $920,514.22 she racked up while suing the Board of Elections and the county's ensuing appeals.
Commission President Chris Monzel says, "We actually got a reduction in the amount based on the promptness of that payment, which helps the taxpayers pay less money. But unfortunately we didn't win the lawsuit and we had to pay."
Fellow Commissioner Todd Portune says the amount is still much higher than it should have been.
"Yes, they negotiated $37,000 off the number," he says. "We'll accept that amount but we never had to have this get to the point where taxpayers were confronted with a $900,000 legal bill. That's really the tragedy of the whole matter."
He blames the board of elections for running the number up through numerous appeals he says it was clear weren't going to be granted.
Hunter sued the board over vote counting in the 2010 election. She won but the board of elections appealed the ruling repeatedly during an 18-month court battle.