Where is Tracie Hunter Now?

September 6, 2023

CINCINNATI — Former Hamilton County juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter is fighting for her career. She’s arguing to a state panel that she shouldn’t be banned from practicing law. Hunter is scheduled to meet Tuesday with the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct.

In the years before her arrest in 2014, Hunter became one of Cincinnati’s most controversial figures. She fought for power, got involved in civil rights cases and drew criticism over her treatment of juveniles in custody. She filed complaints against prosecutor Joe Deters, attacked fellow judges and tried to get reporters investigated, arrested or thrown out of court.

Despite her felony convictions for tampering with evidence, forgery, having an unlawful interest in public contracts and theft of office funds, she defended her behavior with accusations of racism. She said prosecutors and the media were retaliating against her because she was black.

The judge who swore to uphold integrity and avoid impropriety was found guilty of nine counts, including tampering with evidence and having an unlawful interest in a public contract. She received a six-month prison sentence and was suspended from her position as a judge.

She’s back in the public eye now and a target of social justice groups and activists who want her to be barred from practicing law. But a look around the city suggests that most black judges and civil rights leaders haven’t declared war on her. Maybe that says a lot about the city’s progress in teasing out chronic, inflammatory race conflicts from its DNA.


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