Tracie Hunter

Hunter suspended from practicing law

Oct 21, 2014
Ann Thompson / WVXU

Tracie Hunter has been suspended from practicing law in Ohio, following her conviction earlier this month.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

After deliberating  four days, a Hamilton County jury has found suspended Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter guilty of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.  However the jury was not able to reach verdicts on the remaining eight counts.

Hunter's attorney, Clyde Bennett II, says he will appeal.

In January, a Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Hunter on the following counts:

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Each side has taken hours to sum up its case in the trial of suspended Hamilton County Juvenile Judge Tracie Hunter. Judge Norbert Nadel told Special Prosecutor Scott Croswell he can finish up Wednesday with jury instructions to follow.

Closing arguments began Monday in a trial that is now into its fifth week. Hunter is charged with nine felony counts including tampering with evidence, forgery and theft in office.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Special Prosecutor Merlin Schiverdecker quoted Truman and Shakespeare while making his case to the jury as to why they should find Tracie Hunter guilty of all nine charges facing her. But defense attorney Clyde Bennett II said his client is guilty of nothing and the charges were politically motivated.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Hamilton County prosecutors and Tracie Hunter's attorney, Clyde Bennett II will begin picking a jury Monday.

The suspended juvenile court judge has been indicted on nine counts including tampering with evidence, forgery and theft in office. She's accused of misusing county credit cards and backdating court documents.

On July 15, 2014 Judge Norbert Nadel refused to dismiss the charges. Bennett asked the judge for a change of venue. Nadel said he would consider it only if a jury couldn't be seated.

Bennett says his client is not guilty

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Suspended Judge Tracie Hunter, indicted on charges she misused county credit cards and backdated court documents, will go on trial September 8, 2014.

Hamilton County Court Judge Norbert Nadel rejected arguments by Hunter's attorney, Clyde Bennett II that charges of forgery, theft in office and tampering with evidence be dropped. Nadel also said no to three separate trials and a change-of-venue. The Judge said if jurors can't be seated in September then the trial may be moved.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter was in court Friday but standing on the other side of the bench.

Hunter entered a not guilty plea on nine felony counts including theft in office, tampering with evidence, forgery and misuse of a county credit card.

She was released on her own recognizance. Her next court date is a status report update between the judge and attorneys for both sides on March 4.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

Update 2:50pm: The Ohio Supreme Court has issued an order today disqualifying Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter from acting as a judge because of the indictment. In the order signed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, it says “it is further ordered that she shall remain disqualified while any and all indictments filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas are pending and until further order of this court.”

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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.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter will have outside counsel defending her in several cases against her, including lawsuits brought by the Cincinnati Enquirer and Channel 9.

Hamilton County Commissioners Monday approved hiring attorneys Firooz Namei and James Bogen.

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