This soap opera series directed by the Republican/Tea Party leadership and funded by YOU the taxpayers has ended with a deadlock jury on 8 counts and a guilty verdict on one count.
Judge Nadel had multiple opportunities to dismiss or provide a change of venue to avoid this public persecution but instead he followed the practices of his fellow conservative colleagues and continued the political circus at taxpayer’s expense. One might ask, why place so much effort in preventing the first African American female Democrat Juvenile Court Judge from serving in her elected position? Because politics is no longer working together for the betterment of the community you serve, but abusing government power and resources to eliminate your competition. From the conservatives at the Board of Elections like Alex Triantafilou who voted every time in support of Republican Prosecutor Joe Deters winless appeals to not count your vote, to the conservatives like Greg Hartman and Chris Monzel at the Hamilton County Commissioners office who refused to end the charade of your tax dollars being wasted. This is a clear example of so called fiscal conservatives sparing no expense to undermine the public in order to take out their competition.
The prosecution has already revealed that they do not wish to have Judge Hunter serve any time, they simply want her removed from office. Judge Nadel proclaimed after the verdict was read that Judge Hunter has went from a possible role model to a convicted felon. Unfortunately, their goal has always been to remove Judge Hunter from office and to shame her in the public.
Judge Hunter was indicted of erroneous charges for tampering with evidence, forgery, theft, and unlawful interest in a private matter. The jury consisted of a few non-impartial characters, there was one who proclaimed before the court that they had already made their mind up before a shred of testimony was ever given. Another was an employee of a local news station who was one of the many who filed a lawsuit against Judge Hunter. People who listen to 1230 the Buzz was eliminated but not those who listen to 700 wlw, a station that has always been negatively biased toward Judge Hunter.
After weeks of testimony, the jury was unable to take notes, and as recents as the day of the verdict they were denied the opportunity to review previous testimony by the defense, as Judge Nadel felt that would be to the benefit of the defense.
We learned the forgery was accusations that Judge Hunter back dated documents, which in actuality, the practice of back dating documents is common at the Juvenile Court and the information is entered by a different official of the court not Judge Hunter.
The charge of theft was for a court issue credit card that the Judge received with instructions from Fifth Third bank that it is to be use for business purposes only. We learned that felony charges were served for only $1100 which was used as intended, for court related matters.
The unlawful interest in a public contract and tampering with evidence was for matters dealing with Judge Hunter’s brother who was terminated. The information Judge Hunter requested regarding her brother and shared with him was public information that we all have access to, not a contract. It was also revealed in court that these same documents in question which was simply witnesses testimonies and juvenile court procedures on properly detaining a juvenile, was copied and hand delivered to the media by the Juvenile courts.
This is what they considered criminal activity at its best; gaining access to documents that everyone in the tri-state could see once the media had access to it. Judge Hunter had no part in the hiring or firing of her brother, which under the law, would have been considered unlawful interest in a public contract. Read for yourself the Ohio Revised Code 2921.42, Having an Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract. Unlike the well known cronyism and nepotism that runs from the Hamilton County Courthouse to the Hamilton County Prosecutors office where your political party and affiliation overrides your skills and qualifications.
How can we forget Judge Ralph Winkler who committed a felony by defacing the property of the Board of Elections with his wife campaign literature? His excuse was, “what, you think I don’t love my wife?” No big trial at taxpayer’s expense by the Democratic Party to have Judge Winkler removed or even reprimanded. Judge Winkler committed this act in front of many witnesses, and he was clearly guilty but was allowed to apologize and move on.
It is beyond despicable the amount of time and tax dollars wasted to carry out the retaliatory political ploys spear headed by Judge Hunter’s republican advisories. It is amazing how leaders in this party tout fiscal responsibility but will spare no expense to lie, obstruct, and shift accountability for their actions on anyone and anything else but themselves.
Honorable Judge Hunter has remained steadfast in this whirlwind of political ploys to drain her financially, break her spiritually, and to intimidate her mentally and physically. She was handed this verdict on the anniversary of her beloved father’s death. If convicted of these charges she could have faced up to 13 years in prison. It is shameful the depths in which some Republicans will go to eliminate their competition. I appreciate Judge Hunter’s tenacity and resilience; she is a true example on how to weather the storm.
I’m sure appeals are in order for the one count that she was found guilty of. The war on Judge Hunter continues but the battle isn’t over. We can fight by breaking up the Republican strongholds in the judgeships at all the courthouses. Let your frustration be your motivation to bring forth effective change. We can show these diabolical characters that we the people have the real power.
Just an FYI on all the Democratic Judges running November 4th, 2014, Election Day. You can also visit http://hamiltoncountydem.org to research candidates.
Tom Letson-Justice of the Supreme Court
John P. O’Donnell-Justice of the Supreme Court
Fanon A. Rucker– Judge of the Court of Appeals
John M. Mereness-Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
Pat Foley-Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
Jerry Metz– Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
Jennifer Branch-Judge of the Court of Common Pleas (Juvenile Division)
Ray Pater– Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations
Charlie Luken– Judge Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division