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National Action Network Comes to Aid of Judge
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Brad Underwood) -- Hours after being indicted on eight federal counts, a local chapter of a national organization says it is standing behind Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter.
The Cincinnati Chapter of the National Action Network (NAN) said during its regularly scheduled meeting on Saturday it will discuss strategy on how to support Judge Hunter both morally and financially. Chapter President Reverend Bishop Bobby Hilton says he's known Judge Hunter since she was in high school and believes this indictment is just another attempt of political assassination.
"She's been standing strong, over 100,000 people voted for her, and many people continue to yet stand strong by her side, we will not move," said Bishop Hilton.
The indictment alleges forgery, tampering with evidence, having an unlawful interest in a public contract and theft in office. Judge Hunter is accused of back dating court documents along with ethics violations involving her brother's employment in juvenile court. The indictment also alleges Judge Hunter spent public money to pay unauthorized filing fees with the Ohio Supreme Court.
Judge Hunter has been surrounded by controversy since before she took office due to a dispute over ballots in the 2010 election.
"For her to win the election and to have the Governor seat her opponent before she could be seated, that's a sore loser, that's a bully," said Bishop Hilton. "They have really acted like bullies in this situation."
Judge Hunter has always had support in Hamilton County and now Bishop Hilton is getting NAN involved on national level after appearing on Reverend Al Sharpton's radio show Friday. Rev. Sharpton is the founder and national president of NAN.
Longtime friend and former Cincinnati City Councilman Cecil Thomas says these allegations are ridiculous and he believes Judge Hunter will eventually be cleared.
"When someone is charged they try to charge them with as many things as they can with the expectation of let's see if we can get them to plead to something," said Thomas. "Judge Hunter is not interested in that, not at all."
Judge Hunter is scheduled to arraigned on Friday January 17th.