Judge faces felony charges: Prosecutors say she backdated court records, misused county credit card

Tracie Hunter, a Hamilton County, Ohio, juvenile court judge, was indicted on eight charges of evidence tampering, office theft and forgery Friday, the Associated Press reports.

The felony charges focus on allegations that Hamilton backdated court records, reportedly as attempts to keep her rulings from being overturned, the wire service reports. She’s also accused of using a county-issued credit card to pay court fees stemming from lawsuits against her.

The article notes a September 2013 memo from the Joe Deters, the Hamilton County prosecutor. According to the document, the first case of backdating is related to an oral ruling Hunter issued that prevented prosecutors from presenting evidence in a trial.

Another ruling, according to the memo, was backdated by a week.

Hamilton also allegedly ordered that her brother, who previously provided security for the court, be paid overtime.

Hunter has faced criticism for a separate issue as well.

Previously, she banned Cincinnati Enquirer reporters from her courtroom after the paper published the names of six juveniles charged in a 2012 beating. The paper sued, and the Ohio Court of Appeals, First Appellate District ordered Hunter to let the reporters in her courtroom. The judge that said she would, on the condition they not publish the juveniles’ names.

The appellate court found Hunter in contempt, and the Ohio Supreme Court in December upheld the ruling (PDF).

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