Judge Tracie Hunter speaks out at GCCNAN Town Hall Meeting
Letter to the Editor
1/2/2014, 2:33 p.m.
Attacks against Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter have almost become a weekly series in many of Cincinnati’s television and radio stations and its only daily newspaper, the Cincinnati Enquirer. She has been sued, sued and sued (more than 18 times), by the newspaper, television stations, County Public Defenders and County Prosecutor Joe Deters. If you have been trying to keep up with the accusations and attacks, it’s easy to conclude that Judge Hunter is incompetent, arrogant or just clueless.
Since few know the brutal ugly truth, decisions were made to share some of this story directly with representatives of the masses of Hamilton County residents. Greater Cincinnati Chapter of National Action Network (GCCNAN) members, under the leadership of Bishop Hilton, took action and assembled a Town Hall meeting on Dec. 15 that represented a cross section of Hamilton County residents – politicians, Nation of Islam members, members of organizations, churches, labor unions, professionals, families and students; all came anxious to hear unfiltered information directly from elected Judge Hunter.
Bishop Hilton opened the Town Hall with a clear update of some of GCCNAN’s findings and GCCNAN’s commitment to fair and equal treatment for all of Hamilton County’s youth. As he said, “it’s not about Black and it’s not about White; it’s about what’s wrong and what’s right.”
Attorney Susannah Meyer, fired public defender and whistleblower, gave insight into the years of systemic misrepresentation of less privileged juveniles in Hamilton County and how the court system was under consent decree.
Then Judge Hunter, flanked by many prominent spiritual leaders, including, Rev. Eugene Ellington; Rev. H. L. Harvey, New Friendship Baptist Church; Rev. Damon Lynch III, New Prospect Baptist Church; Assoc. Pastor Paul McGhee, Western Hills Brethren in Christ Church; Bishop Mark Monroe; Rev. Rousseau O’Neal, Rockdale Baptist Church; Ford Taylor, Transformation Cincinnati/Northern Ky.; Rev. Jim Vickers, Mountain Top Fellowship; and Rabbi Michael Wolf of Beth Messiah; gave the town hall participants a chance, for the first time, to participate in a history lesson allowing them to make their own assessment. Pastor Judge Hunter spoke and all listened as she took the crowd directly to church and you could witness the crowd’s sadness, when she elaborated on the cruel tactics inflicted on her and then such mighty joy was witnessed as she strongly expressed her conviction, her strength and her purpose.
Listed are some of the charges you’ve read and heard. Read what Judge Hunter had to say.
Then, you make the call.
The charge … Judge Hunter has been costing the taxpayers of Hamilton County millions of dollars.
For those with long memories will recall, Tracie Hunter won the 2010 election over John Williams with more than 800 provisional ballots not counted, many coming from Lincoln Heights, predominately African American, precincts. The Hamilton County Board of Elections could not agree to count the votes and the Republican wing of the Hamilton County Board of Elections filed lawsuits and appeals at every level of judicial government except the Supreme Court in attempts not to count votes. After almost two years later, about two million taxpayer dollars spent and many votes discarded, the remaining portion of the votes were counted and Tracie Hunter prevailed. Meanwhile, the Ohio Administration had changed from Democrat to Republican and Juvenile Judge Karla Grady, the Administrative Judge of Juvenile Court, unexpectedly retired. The new Governor, John Kasich appointed John Williams as Juvenile Judge.