By Associated Press - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - A judge has denied a defense request to dismiss charges against a suspended Ohio juvenile court judge convicted last year of unlawful interest in a public contract.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker on Monday denied the request to dismiss eight counts against Judge Tracie Hunter. Hunter was sentenced to six months in jail on her conviction but remains free on appeal.

The jury couldn’t reach a verdict on other charges, including tampering with evidence and theft in office, and a second trial is scheduled next month on those charges. Hunter has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Hunter’s attorney Louis Sirkin argued for judicial immunity, saying she was performing her official duties as a juvenile court judge. If judges have to worry that their decisions could lead to a criminal prosecution, “I’d hate to see what the state of affairs would be,” Sirkin said.

Dinkelacker said he could find no legal precedent for granting Hunter’s request.

“Judges are no different than any other people,” Dinkelacker said.

Hunter, a Democrat, has called the prosecution a “political takedown” by the county Republican Party.

Another hear is set for next Tuesday on other motions, including a request to move the trial to a different county.

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