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Judge Tracie Hunter speaks out at GCCNAN Town Hall Meeting

Letter to the Editor

1/2/2014, 2:33 p.m.

Per standing rules – Judge Karla Grady’s retirement coupled with Judge Hunter’s 2010 win, clearly indicated Judge Tracie Hunter was to become Hamilton County’s Administrative Judge of Juvenile Court. This would have meant Judge Tracie Hunter would administer an annual budget of about $30,000,000. She would have overall responsibility of court administration. However, just prior to her official swearing in, an administration rules change was developed and jammed through to ensure appointed Judge John Williams would reign as Administrative Juvenile Judge.

The court was obviously staffed and stacked just prior to Judge Hunter taking office. Those actions left Judge Hunter without any ability to staff her court and crippled her of responsibility except through Judge Williams. Why haven’t we read or heard about this ploy? Don’t you think you should have had a right to know? The question remains how did Judge Tracie Hunter cost the taxpayers about two million dollars?

The charge and many similar charges … Judge Hunter is denying the media its right to freedom of the press.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court has had for many years a written rule that media submits a 24-hour written request to a judge for access to the Juvenile Courtroom. The Juvenile Court Judge had been able to deny or award the request. Have you read in any media outlet that the media submitted a written request and the Judge denied them access? If the media did not comply with the rule, why file a lawsuit and report to the public that they were denied access? What’s this really all about? Judge Hunter requested the local newspaper refrain from printing children’s names. Why would the media print children’s names and their parents’ names, defying Judge Hunter’s orders? Juvenile Records are sealed for a reason.

It’s hard to understand why Hamilton County’s media have no concept of the damage done when they plaster a child’s name all over the public domain – it’s there for the rest of their lives. If a child makes a mistake should it needlessly haunt them forever? Do they even think about what it does for college acceptance, future jobs, and what about the negative impact on their personal lives many years later? Everyone knows that medical records are private. Why would the media sue Judge Hunter for access to children’s medical records? A bigger question is why would Ohio courts affirm any of these actions?

The charge … Judge Hunter has a backlog of cases that is harmful to children and families.

The Public Defender is suing the Judge to clear out this backlog of cases.

Per records, Judge Hunter’s backlog of cases was less than Judge John Williams’ but he wasn’t served with a lawsuit. Why? Judge Hunter has not been proven to be lacking in knowledge of the law and her expectations of Public Defenders to adhere to the law are on full display. Judge Hunter expects Public Defenders to defend their child clients, not seek plea bargains on cases that have incomplete or missing information. We all know how plea bargains work. Why has the media not reported on the number of plea bargain cases involving children in Hamilton County Juvenile Courts? Is there such a thing as conflict of interest? What is the relationship between the Prosecutor and the Public Defenders, how are children defended, fairly?