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Tracie Hunter to face second criminal trial in June

Ann Thompson

Suspended juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter will go to trial again on June 1, facing eight felony counts.

Special prosecutors in the Hunter case re-filed those charges after a jury failed to reach a verdict on them in last fall's criminal trial.

Hunter was convicted in October on one count of unlawful interest in a public contract; and was sentenced by now-retired Judge Norbert Nadel to six months in prison. She is appealing the conviction.

Wednesday morning, Hunter was in the Hamilton County common pleas courtroom of Judge Patrick Dinkelacker, who was elected to Nadel's seat last fall.

She entered a plea of not guilty to the eight felony charges; and said she wanted to be tried by a jury.

Hunter remains free on her own recognizance while her criminal conviction is being appealed.

Hunter's lawyer, Clyde Bennett, asked Dinkelacker to disqualify himself from the case because he served on the appeals court that is hearing Hunter’s appeal before being elected to Nadel's seat. Dinkelacker refused to disqualify himself.

Bennett can file a motion with the Ohio Supreme Court asking that Dinkelacker be removed from the case.

Special prosecutor R. Scott Croswell said he would be willing to wait until September to hold the trial if Hunter would sign a document waiving her right to a speedy trial. Hunter told Dinkelacker she would not waive her right.