Photo Video
Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter
Hide Caption
Prev
Judge fires back at Hamilton Co. Prosecutor Prosecutor won't represent embattled judge
Next

Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter gets to hire her own attorneys

Prosecutor Joe Deters cites grievances as reason

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
Judge Hunter to appeal media ruling
Juvie court employee put on paid leave
Hunter blocked from hiring own attorneys
Judge ends shackling of juveniles
NAACP: Recount in juvenile judge race

CINCINNATI - Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says his office will no longer represent Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter after she filed grievances against him, allowing Hunter to hire her own attorneys as she wanted.

"I had to cease representation of Tracie Hunter after she filed grievances against me and three of my assistants with the Ohio Supreme Court," Deters told 9 On Your Side Tuesday. "I was hoping to save the taxpayers a bill for outside counsel. She has now made that impossible."

Deters said Hunter accused him of slandering her, 9 On Your Side’s Jay Warren reported.

"It's very vague. It says that basically I slandered her,” Deters said. “I don't know what she's talking about."

The Hamilton County Juvenile Court released a statement Tuesday night that said Hunter was not aware of Deters' decision to terminate representation until she read it on the Internet Monday.

The statement claims Hunter did not receive prior verbal or written notification from Deters of his decision, which Hunter said is ethically required by attorneys when termination occurs.

Hunter added that she believes Deters is trying to defame her.

"It is disturbing that an individual who has never personally, nor professionally met me, continues to make dishonest, inflammatory statements about me in a public forum, calculated to fuel hatred," Hunter said in statement.

Deters said he believes the Ohio Supreme Court is looking at media lawsuits and a contempt of court citation against Hunter and could take action against her – possibly suspending her law license.

A dispute between the prosecutor and the judge has been going on for months. Hunter tried to dump Deters’ office in May and hand-pick her own outside attorneys. She openly criticized Deters' office for not properly representing her and even found one of Deters' attorneys in contempt.

In her statement Tuesday night, Hunter said Deters continued to cost taxpayers money by "failing to allow three competent attorneys" to represent her for free.

Deters objected to outside counsel for Hunter, citing Ohio law that states the county prosecutor shall represent elected officials in their official capacity.

But the grievances changed that.

"While that's pending, I can't represent her in other matters. It's a clear conflict," Deters said.

Tim Burke, chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, told Jay Warren Tuesday that Deters should have stepped aside sooner.

"In all honesty, I wish that decision had been made weeks ago,” Burke said. “Judge Hunter asked for her own personal counsel because of the same conflicts that finally were resolved yesterday when the prosecutor agreed to take his attorneys off of representing her."

Hunter has appealed her contempt of court citation to the Ohio Supreme Court.

WCPO and other media outlets have sued Hunter over broad restrictions she placed on media in her courtroom.

The Ohio Court of Appeals found Hunter in contempt because she ordered the Cincinnati Enquirer not to report the names of juveniles in an assault case despite an appellate court order to lift her ban on the newspaper from using the names.

Hunter argued that her order was within the rules that govern juvenile court. She also said that as a judge, she would never disobey an order from a higher court.

Hunter’s restrictions on media in her courtroom include a ban on identifying juvenile suspects and their parents in or out of court.

WCPO contends the restrictions are unconstitutional and set a bad precedent.

"I do understand the point that you are making,” Burke said. “I don't disagree with the fact that we have a free press, but the free press has always been restricted in juvenile court. That's nothing new."

Hunter has hired attorneys Firooz Namei and James Bogen to represent her, Deters’ office said.

County commissioners approved the request and now Common Pleas Court judges must approve.

To read Hunter's complete statement, click here: http://media2.wcpo.com/pdfs/Hunter.pdf
 

 

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Hamilton County News
WATCH: Glimpse of 'Carol' hard to come by
WATCH: Glimpse of 'Carol' hard to come by

As many Cincinnatians have realized, it's nearly impossible to grab a glimpse of the making of 'Carol,' but WCPO’s Tony…

Police: Officer solicited sex with minor, jailed
Police: Officer solicited sex with minor, jailed

A Hamilton County Justice Center corrections officer faces a single charge after authorities say he went online to try to meet and have sex…

Cranley announces $1.9M for bike projects
Cranley announces $1.9M for bike projects

In the middle of a pause for one bicycle pathway program, Mayor John Cranley announced Wednesday $1.9 million in funding for five other…

Museum honors Cincinnati's German heritage
Museum honors Cincinnati's German heritage

The Cincinnati German Heritage Museum tells the storied history of German-Americans in the Greater Cincinnati area.

One death saves six lives, creates family bonds
One death saves six lives, creates family bonds

A liver. For him. Finally. A groggy Don Van Zant glanced at the clock when he picked up the phone Oct. 10, 2012. His life was saved as others…

3 suspects sought in fatal Hartwell shooting
3 suspects sought in fatal Hartwell shooting

A man is dead after he was shot in the back at a residence in Hartwell early Tuesday.

Driver sentenced for deadly Colerain Twp. crash
Driver sentenced for deadly Colerain Twp. crash

A driver who pleaded guilty in a deadly Colerain Township crash went before a judge Tuesday to learn his sentence.

No decision made on Central Pkwy bikeway
No decision made on Central Pkwy bikeway

No decision was made during a public hearing Monday about the future of possible dedicated bike lanes on Central Parkway that Mayor John…

Mom pleads guilty in McDonald's OD case
Mom pleads guilty in McDonald's OD case

A mother who police say overdosed on heroin with her boyfriend at a McDonald's play area in Green Township will spend 180 days in jail.

Web cams offer bird's eye view of nesting falcon
Web cams offer bird's eye view of nesting falcon

Since 1990, a pair of the once endangered falcons have chosen the 27th floor of the former PNC Bank building on Fourth and Vine streets as…