Indicted Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter appeared at a hearing Thursday. It was the first time she's appeared in court since her January arraignment.
Earlier this week, Hunter's attorney Clyde Bennett II filed a motion to dismiss the charges she faces in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Bennett wrote the indictment should be thrown out for abuse of prosecutorial discretion, prosecutorial vindictiveness, selective prosecution and an un-remediable conflict of interest.
A judge said he would hear arguments on the motion at a June 25 hearing.
Previously, Bennett had also argued for a change of venue saying Hunter could not get a fair trial in Hamilton County because of pre-trial publicity. Judge Norbert Nadel ruled Thursday that he wanted to try and seat a jury in Hamilton County before determining if a change of venue is necessary.
A Hamilton County grand jury has indicted Hunter on two counts of tampering with evidence, two counts of forgery, two counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract, two counts of theft in office and one count of misuse of credit cards. She has pleaded not guilty.
Bennett said the prosecutor's office has taken an adverse position against Hunter since she was elected. He said immediately after her election and for the next two years, the prosecutor's office litigated the repeated and continued appeals in federal courts about a lawsuit filed concerning the election.
Bennett said after Hunter took office, she was required to file complaints with the Ohio Supreme Court against assistant Hamilton County prosecutors regarding among other things the prosecutors making false statements against her with the intent to defame and/or cause chaos, "judge-shopping" adverse rulings, ex parte communications and disruptive patterns of conduct.
"In general the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office has been adversarial and antagonistic toward Judge Hunter ultimately producing a vindictive, selective prosecution tainted with an un-remediable conflict of interest," Bennett said in the motion.
Two special prosecutors are handling the case. Her trial date was set for September.
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