Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter
Hide Caption
Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters Ron Fischer
Hide Caption

Special prosecutors to investigate backdating allegations in Judge Tracie Hunter's courtroom

Prosecutor's office asked for probe

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
Juvenile Court judge gets to hire own attorneys
Judge Hunter to appeal media ruling
Hunter blocked from hiring own attorneys

CINCINNATI - Two special prosecutors will investigate allegations from the county prosecutor’s office that someone in Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter’s courtroom may have committed crimes by deliberately backdating court documents.

The investigation appears to stem from a Sept. 13 memo from Bill Breyer, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, which suggests someone backdated documents in two cases last month to block the prosecutor from appealing Hunter’s orders in the time the law allows.

See Breyer's memo below or at  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/799088-memo-to-joe-deters-accusing-backdating-of-final.html

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Beth A. Myers, acting at the request of the prosecutor, appointed Merlyn Shiverdecker and R. Scott Croswell III to investigate, according to her order of Sept. 17.

See Myers' order at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/799086-special-prosecutor-appointed-in-judge-tracie.html

In his memo to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, Breyer explained that the suspected backdating came to light as his office sought to address problems of “getting timely notice of the filing of final appealable orders” from Hunter’s courtroom.

“As a result, we have tried to make periodic checks of the docket in cases where we believe we have meritorious appeal. During this process we have recently identified two cases in which it appears appealable cases have been backdated.”

In those cases, Breyer said, an affidavit from the court’s software provider attests that one document  had been backdated from Aug. 22 to July 22, and the other from Aug. 19 to Aug. 12.

“The way the Juvenile Court system functions … required a deliberate act through the use of a date override function on the Juvenile Court’s IT system,” Breyer’s memo said.

The backdating prevented prosecutors from responding to Hunter’s orders,  Breyer said.

Hunter and Deters have had several public squabbles this year, with Deters accusing Hunter of slandering him and Hunter accusing Deters of defaming her.

In May, Hunter asked to hire her own attorneys in civil cases and a contempt of court finding against her. But Deters objected, citing the law that requires his office to represent judges in court matters.

Hunter then filed grievances against Deters and three assistant prosecutors with the Ohio Supreme Court.

Deters announced Aug. 27 that he could no longer represent Hunter as a result.

"It's very vague. It says that basically I slandered her,” Deters told 9 On Your Side’s Jay Warren about the grievance. “I don't know what she's talking about."

Hunter then released a statement that said she was not aware of Deters' decision to terminate representation until she read it online. She claimed Deters was required to give her prior verbal or written notification.

"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 the statement.

See Hunter's complete statement at http://media2.wcpo.com/pdfs/Hunter.pdf

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.

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 has appealed her citation to the state Supreme Court.

WCPO and the Enquirer have sued Hunter over broad restrictions she placed on media in her courtroom. Those restrictions include a ban on identifying juvenile suspects and their parents in or out of court.

 

 

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 Local News
UC student beaten up, robbed at apartment
UC student beaten up, robbed at apartment

Three robbery suspects are on the loose after after a University of Cincinnati student was beaten up inside his own apartment during a brazen…

Local bikeway project topic at Monday meeting
Local bikeway project topic at Monday meeting

A scheduled meeting Monday for City Council’s neighborhoods committee could go a long way toward determining the future of the…

Police: Missing teen may be with Milford man
Police: Missing teen may be with Milford man

Police believe a 28-year-old man from the Milford area may have information about the whereabouts of a missing southwest Ohio teenager.

Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2
Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2

Homer Bailey pitched six scoreless innings at friendly Wrigley Field for his first win of the season and Jay Bruce homered and…

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…

Driver in Evendale high-speed chase identified
Driver in Evendale high-speed chase identified

What started out as a traffic stop turned into a serious crash that closed a part of Glendale-Milford Road early Sunday morning.

Police ID man found shot to death in Avondale
Police ID man found shot to death in Avondale

Cincinnati police released the identity of the man they found shot to death in the 3100 block of Reading Road Sunday.

Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'
Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'

At the helm of his namesake eatery Jimmy G's, Gibson entered his profession for the love of food and found a foodie following in the Tri-State.

Crews continue search for clues in Markham case
Crews continue search for clues in Markham case

Searchers once again combed through a tree-covered creek bed in eastern Indiana on Saturday trying to find the clues they need to answer the…

10 types of beards you'll see in the Tri-State
10 types of beards you'll see in the Tri-State

Is it just us, or are beards (and other forms of facial hair) making a comeback in the Tri-State? WCPO decided to explore the issue.…