On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, the Disciplinary Counsel of Ohio filed a request for an extension of time to file its answer brief to Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie M. Hunter’s objections before the Supreme Court of Ohio in regard to the findings of the Board of Professional Conduct wherein the latter recommended the suspension of the respondent for her illegal conduct that involves having an unlawful interest in a public contract while serving as a judge of the Hamilton County Court.

The case is entitled “Disciplinary Counsel v. Tracie Hunter,” with case no. 2023-0472.

On April 13, 2023, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an order to the respondent to show cause why the recommendation of the Board of Professional Conduct to indefinitely suspend her for her unlawful interest in a public contract while serving as a judge of the Hamilton County Court should not be confirmed.

The Order report states:

“On October 14, 2014, the jury a guilty verdict on Cmlnt Six of the indictment in Case No. B 1400110, for having an unlawful interest in a public contract in violation of R.C. a felony of the fourth degree. That statute states: “No public official shall knowingly, authorize, or employ the authority or influence of the public official’s office to secure authorization of any public contract in which the public official, a member of the public official’s family, or any of the public official’s business associates has an interest.”

The Order report continues:

“Pursuant to Gov. Bar R. V, Section 12, the Board of Professional Conduct considered this matter on April 7, 2023. The Board voted to adopt findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation of the hearing panel and recommends that Respondent, Tracie M. Hunter, be indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio, with credit for time served under the interim felony suspension imposed on October 21, 2014. The Board further recommends that Respondent be ordered to pay the costs of these proceedings.”

In response to the said recommendation of discipline, on May 3, 2023, former Judge Hunter filed her objections before the Supreme Court of Ohio wherein she argued that she can’t acknowledge wrongdoing for a crime that she didn’t commit, not even for the purpose to save her license.

The Objection report states:

“Her sincere belief that she did not violate the language of the law is rooted in the fact that she didn’t violate the law and no reading of the statute comports to the allegations that she secured a public contract that can’t be tangibly identified. However, one can clearly see how DeWine’s actions violated the language of the law. In comparison, Relator can identify the contract that DeWine secured: a job at a public agency for his son; but they ignore his conduct.”

The Objection report continues:

“Respondent requests that the charge by Relator be dismissed; the Board’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law be set aside; and that she be immediately reinstated to the practice of law. Anything different will only further perpetuate the unjust, inequitable, disparate, and arbitrary treatment and duality of law applied to Respondent, in violation of the Constitutions of the United States and Ohio. It will also highlight the hypocrisy, which former Justice Stafford identified when two sitting justices directly involved in Respondent’s case violated the law that they accused Respondent of.”

In relation to this, the Disciplinary Counsel, on May 16, 2023, filed a request for an extension of time to file its answer brief to the respondent’s objections.

The relators request states:

“Relator, pursuant to S.Ct.Prac.R. 3.03(B)(2)(b)(i), hereby requests a ten-day extension of time for the relator to file its answer brief to the respondent’s objections to the Certified Report by the Board of Professional Conduct. Respondent filed her objections on May 3, 2023, and the current due date for filing the relator’s answer brief is May 18, 2023. Relator makes this request for good cause as it needs additional time to complete its brief due to the office having three oral arguments this week as well as another emergent investigatory matter. If granted, May 29, 2023, shall be the new due date for filing the relator’s answer brief. Relator has not requested a previous extension in this matter.”

Former Judge Hunter attended the University of Cincinnati College of Law, graduating in 1992.

Ms. Hunter sat as a judge for the Hamilton County Juvenile Court in Ohio located at 800 Broadway St., Cincinnati, OH, and can be reached at 513-946-9200. Her info can be found on ballotpedia.org.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.