CINCINNATI – A dozen supporters of suspended juvenile judge Tracie Hunter demanded an independent investigation into the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s case Thursday morning, accusing the office of tampering with critical evidence.
Supporters claim evidence that could have proved her innocence of ethical violations was intentionally left out of the court proceedings.
SEE a timeline of Tracie Hunter's trials, tribulations and battles with county Republicans and the Ohio Supreme Court.
They claim a computer forensic expert hired by Hunter discovered that “instead of preserving critical computer evidence, it appears the State or someone in the Juvenile Court intentionally allowed the hard drive, which contained information about backdating, on one computer to be wiped clean and sold at an action in December 2013.”
Hunter was indicted in January 2014 and was accused of backdating court documents to prevent prosecutors from appealing her rulings, misusing a court credit card to pay for legal filings in lawsuits against her and illegally helping her brother by giving him documents related to his upcoming disciplinary hearing and arranging for him to get extra work hours.
Hunter faces six months in jail, a sentence that was delayed a second time Jan. 21 when a judge granted her a stay during her appeals process.
“When I can be accused falsely of crimes for acts that I did not commit but which other people acknowledged in testimony that they did, then there's a problem,” Hunter said.
State Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) was among the group of members of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of National Action Network (GCCNAN) and the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP. They vowed not to give up the fight to clear Hunter’s name.
“Our concern is justice has to be blind,” Thomas said. “It has to be fair and impartial.”
The group of supporters is demanding that the Department of Justice step in to take over this case, a process that started with a letter sent to the FBI detailing what Hunter’s private investigators discovered.