- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) - The jury forewoman has expressed frustration about a split that resulted in only one conviction against an Ohio juvenile court judge.

WLWT-TV reported Wednesday (https://bit.ly/1CkwMw4 ) that Sandra Kirkham said in a statement that the majority of jurors wanted to convict suspended Judge Tracie Hunter on all nine counts. However, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Norbert Nadel on Tuesday dismissed the jurors after they reported they were unable to reach unanimous verdicts on eight of the charges.

“I am extremely frustrated and disappointed with the results of our deliberations,” Kirkham stated. “The evidence presented by the prosecution was compelling and convincing. It is very disconcerting that a judge might so attempt to manipulate our judicial system without severe consequences.”

Jurors fund Hunter guilty of unlawful interest in a public contract, involving her brother. She could face up to 18 months in prison when sentenced Dec. 2, although prosecutors said they weren’t seeking prison time. Her legal career is also threatened by the felony conviction. She is 47.

Her attorney plans to appeal, while special prosecutors could decide to seek a new trial on the eight charges.

Hunter and her supporters have contended that the charges against the Democrat were political retribution. She took the bench in 2012 after winning a lengthy legal battle over disputed 2010 election results.

“She was not welcomed in May 2012, she was not welcomed to the juvenile court bench and when you’re not welcomed, there can be some power struggles and that’s what literally this was about,” Bishop Bobby Hilton said.

“She’s doing amazingly well,” Hilton said of Hunter. “She had her head lifted, she had her confidence lifted. So she prepared well.”

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Information from: WLWT-TV, https://www.wlwt.com

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