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Juvenile Court Controversy
There is another controversy surrounding Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has withdrawn as Hunters attorney for cases where she has been sued. Normally, the prosecutor represents other county officials, including judges. But Deters says because Hunter has filed a grievance against him and three of his assistants with the Ohio Supreme Court, it would be a conflict of interest for him to continue to represent her.
I was more than happy to represent her Deters said. I had two senior lawyers representing her in these actions, theres lots of legal actions going on out of that courtroom, and I thought we were providing very good representation. But she didnt want it and she filed the grievances and we have to get off.
Hunter has been in the middle of several controversies, beginning with Election Day, 2010. The Juvenile Court race between Hunter and John Williams was contested, and Hunter was not sworn in until 17 months later, following a bitter legal fight over the counting of some votes, which she ultimately won. Since taking the bench, Hunter has been sued by some news media agencies over access to her courtroom, has held an assistant prosecutor in contempt but later dropped that, and has also been held in contempt herself by the Court of Appeals. That last case is now pending before the Ohio Supreme Court.
Prosecutor Deters said Ive been an attorney for 32 years and Ive never seen a judge held in contempt of court. This is new ground for me.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Hunter criticized Deters for what she called a unilateral decision to withdraw without informing her in advance. The statement says Judge Hunter was shocked at Mr. Deters efforts to defame a sitting judge that he has never personally met nor interacted with on a personal level.
Hunter says she has three lawyers who were willing to handle the cases against her for free, but says Deters refused and had the county hire two different attorneys. Judge Hunter says she filed the grievance against the Prosecutors office due to continued attack of her character, competency, and courtroom designed to influence the Ohio Supreme Court against her.