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Court won't dismiss charges against Ohio judge

CINCINNATI — A Hamilton County judge Tuesday rejected a juvenile court judge’s motion to dismiss charges against her or to move her trial.

Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert A. Nadel said Tuesday he would try to seat a jury to test Judge Tracie Hunter’s contention that she can’t get a fair jury because of pretrial publicity. Her trial in scheduled for Sept. 8.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty to felony charges, including tampering with evidence, forgery and theft in office. The Democrat, who took the bench after a long legal battle over disputed election results, has blamed politics for the charges.

She also contended that the special prosecutors appointed in the case, attorneys Merlyn Shiverdecker and R. Scott Croswell III, had a conflict of interest because they previously represented County Prosecutor Joe Deters in another matter.

“I find nothing in the record that would justify the dismissal of the case,” Nadel said in court.

Hunter attorney Clyde Bennett had asked that Nadel move the trial to “another county not so permeated with publicity.” In his motion for change of venue, he said Hunter faces “publicity that is so pervasive and prejudicial that it corrupts the atmosphere surrounding the case.”

Nadel told Bennett he would summon a pool for jury selection, during which potential jurors can be questioned about the case.

The Ohio Supreme Court disqualified Hunter, 47, in January from acting as a judge after an indictment alleged that she backdated court records and misused a county credit card.

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