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Indicted judge tries to get charges dismissed
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- Indicted and suspended juvenile court judge, Tracie Hunter, tried to get a judge to drop all of the charges against her.
Hunter's lawyer called the charges, "A character assassination." Tracie Hunter's defense argument was she rocked the boat and the powers that be threw her in the water.
Hunter was charged with back dating court records, improper use of a county credit card, and improperly interfering with a county employment issue for her brother. Defense lawyer Clyde Bennett said Hunter was only charged after she filed misconduct complaints against the county prosecutor's office and prosecutor Joe Deters himself.
"You had somebody, Judge Hunter, doing rightful things, doing legal things that were inconsistent with the prosecutor's office. And somebody said, 'Enough of that, who does she think she is?' Typical Hamilton County politics," said Bennett.
Joe Deters was not there because two special prosecutors, appointed by a judge, are handling the Hunter case. One of them, Merlyn Shiverdecker, said Bennett's argument is all wrong.
"Mr Bennett, through his motions and his reiteration in court today, for the record has provided no evidence whatsoever in support of the allegations he has made," said Shiverdecker.
Judge Norbert Nadel will rule July 15 on Hunter's motion to dismiss the charges. But when it was finished inside the courtroom, things heated up outside.
Avery Corbin, Judge Hunter's former bailiff, and an unidentified woman were arrested for apparently taking pictures in the courthouse hallway with their iPads. Judge Nadel had said only news media could take pictures inside the courtroom. It was unclear if that order included the hallways but a deputy said picture taking anywhere in the building could lead to an arrest, which it did.
Sheriff's deputies have charged both with disorderly conduct and released them until future court dates.
Tracie Hunter's trial, assuming the charges are not dismissed, has been set to start September 8. Judge Nadel said he'll try to seat a jury before ruling on a defense motion to move the trial out of Hamilton County.
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