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Hamilton County mourns loss of former judge and county recorder Norbert Nadel

Nadel wins GOP nomination for county recorder
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jul 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-10 23:24:24-04

CINCINNATI — The Hamilton County Republican Party is mourning the loss of Norbert Nadel, a former judge and county recorder, who died Saturday at the age of 82.

A Cincinnati native, Nadel was a judge on the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas from 1982 to 2015. He was appointed to the court by former Governor Jim Rhodes. Before taking the bench, he worked as a city and federal prosecutor.

"I learned a lot of legal stuff, but I learned more about life from watching him," said Steve Goodin, Cincinnati city council member. "He was incredibly kind to people, no matter who they were or where they were from."

After 40 years on the bench, Nadel retired in 2014, but not before presiding over some of the region’s most memorable cases, including the showdown between Pete Rose and Major League Baseball over gambling, and the trial of former judge Tracie Hunter.

"He was not a very formal judge," said Joe Deters, Hamilton County prosecutor, during a phone interview. "He was very accommodating to both sides. He always gave everybody a fair trial."

After a contentious race against Charlie Winburn, he won the GOP's nomination for Hamilton County Recorder and ultimately the election, taking office in 2016.

"He was a person with strong opinions on taxes and other things and, as a judge you have to really contain those things," said Alex Triantafilou, Hamilton County GOP chair. "But once he left the judiciary, he was sort of free to speak out more."

Nadel ran for re-election in 2020 and lost in the general election.

Nadel attended the University of Cincinnati and completed his undergraduate degree in 1961. He earned his J.D. from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 1965.