Prosecutors begin their case against Judge Tracie Hunter Hunter faces nine felony charges – Defense begins case by raising questions about backdating court documents

CINCINNATI – Tracie Hunter’s attorney began her defense Friday by raising questions about workers backdating documents in the suspended juvenile judge’s court.

See viceo here: http://www.wlwt.com/news/prosecutors-begin-their-case-against-judge-tracie-hunter/27997398

and here:

http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/tracie-hunter-trial-attorneys-to-argue-motion-to-dismiss-case-against-suspended-juvenile-judge

The same backdating thing happened in Carson City by Judge James E. Wison, the clerk and the Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto:

see that story here: https://nevadastatepersonnelwatch.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/krnv-investigates-nevada-attorney-general-carson-city-district-court-backdating-scandal/

tracie hunterAfter Judge Norbert Nadel denied his motion to dismiss the case, Hunter’s attorney, Clyde Bennett II, grilled Lisa Miller, a part-timecase manager in Hunter’s court.

Miller said she and others backdated documents in Hunter’s court because they could not keep up with the amount of filings.

Bennett has claimed in court that Miller, not Hunter, backdated the two court filings at the center of one of the nine felony counts against Hunter.

Prosecutors accuse Hunter of backdating documents in two specific cases so they could not appeal her rulings

Under Bennett’s questioning, Miller testified that two other court workers, Connie Murdock and Cathy Dykes, backdated multiple documents in Hunter’s court. Miller testified that Murdock is her supervisor and Dykes works in deliquency but is called in to help when needed.Backdating_v4

Bennett made the point that several people were needed toscan documents in Hunter’s court because Hunter didn’t have a full-time case manager. The other juvenile court judge, John Williams, does have a full-time case manager, Bennett said.

Miller acknowledged that she backdated documents if she wasn’t able to file all of them on the day they were created. She said she would only backdate documents to match a hearing date.

Prosecutors say backdating, whether common or not, is a crime if it is done to prevent prosecutors from appealing.

Prosecutors have stated that Hunter is responsible for filings in her court, so even if she didn’t backdate the two documents at the center of the charge against her, she would be culpable if she signed an incorrectly dated entry.

The court recessed at 3:30 p.m. with Miller on the stand. She will continue her testimony when court resumes at 10 a.m. Monday.

WATCH the trial live on WCPO.com’s livestream

While Nadel ruled Friday he would let the jury decide the case, he added that some of the nine counts may be redundant.

Nadel heard arguments about the dismissal motion Thursday afternoon in open court after letting the jury go for the day.

Special prosecutor Merlyn Shiverdecker argued that it was simple to make the charge of theft in office against Hunter for charging $1,100 in filing fees on her county credit card.

“She knowingly used the credit card. She received the benefits of not having to pay the filing fees herself. That’s theft in office,” Shiverdecker said.

Shiverdecker said Hunter submitted false documents even if someone else in her office backdated them, as Hunter’s attorney claims.

“She signed two entries that had the wrong dates on them. Therefore, they were purported to be something they were not,” he said.

NBC KRNV news cover Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Cortez Masto backdating scandal

NBC KRNV news cover Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Cortez Masto backdating scandal

“She signed the entries. She’s responsible. It’s the jury’s decision to decide if she did it to impede prosecutors in their attempt to appeal.”

Bennett presented testimony Monday from a company official that installed the CMS that Miller and at least four other people in juvenile court backdated documents.

Bennett, seeking to have the charges dismissed, led off his argument by claiming the prosecution presented “no evidence that Judge Hunter backdated any entries.”

Bennett defended Hunter against the charge of unlawful interference with a public contract by claiming she did nothing to help her brother in a disciplinary hearing after he punched a juvenile inmate at the juvenile jail, where he worked.

Stephen Hunter testified Wednesday that his sister gave him documents in the case – including the inmate’s medical records – one day before his disciplinary hearing. Stephen Hunter’s supervisor testified that he thought that was a conflict of interest.

Afterward, Nadel said he had three options:

> Grant the motion in full, which would mean dropping all nine felony counts against Hunter and ending the trial;

> Grant the motion in part, dropping some counts.

> Reject the motion completely,

Hmmm, Just like the crap in Carson City Nevada – TX Judge accused of creating false court records Lawyer’s complaints that filings were backdated touch off probe in state court and lead clerk to resign

Aside

Lawyer’s complaints that filings were backdated touch off probe in state court and lead clerk to resign

back dateTexas State District Court Judge Denise Pratt is under investigation, accused of backdating court records to make it appear that she issued rulings and filed court documents sooner than she actually did, according to county officials.Judge Denise Pratt

Allegations against the 311th family court judge, raised by a Houston-area family lawyer in a criminal complaint filed with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, already have led to the resignation of Pratt’s court clerk.

Webster-based family lawyer Greg Enos, whose criminal complaint last year against a Galveston County court-at-law judge sparked an investigation by the state attorney general and multiple indictments that led to the judge’s suspension and subsequent resignation, said he delivered his complaint against Pratt to First Assistant District Attorney Belinda Hill on Monday. Enos said he believes the office has already launched an investigation. A spokesman for the district attorney’s office said he “can’t confirm or deny” whether any investigation is underway, but county and other sources say the office is looking into it and already has contacted attorneys to arrange interviews. The concerns Enos is raising also have touched off an investigation by the Harris County District Clerk, the official keeper of all court records.

Hmmm, Just like the crap in Carson City Nevada – TX Judge accused of creating false court records Lawyer’s complaints that filings were backdated touch off probe in state court and lead clerk to resign

A Carson City man says the court clerk there is illegally back dating judicial filings for the state Attorney General. Todd Robben says a court filing by the Attorney General’s office in his wrongful termination case against the state’s Department of Taxation was dated in time to meet a procedural deadline, December 20th, but it wasn’t actually turned over to the court until at least the next day after that deadline. Read the rest of this story

 

District Clerk Chris Daniel said he looked into two of the six cases Enos included in his complaint, which led to the resignation on Monday of Pratt’s lead clerk, a well-liked, 25-year employee of the District Clerk’s office. Daniel said he found records were postdated or mis-marked in those two cases, and that he is looking into a seventh one that another family lawyer brought to his attention. Delays in rulings An inaccurate timestamp or missing signature on a court document not only erodes “the integrity of the record,” Daniel said, but can have an impact on appeals and other legal processes. “If you have the wrong date on a document, then statutorily you can run out of time to appeal a case, and that’s where the most damage is,” he said. Pratt did not respond to several requests for comment, but her campaign consultant, Allen Blakemore, issued a statement late Thursday suggesting Enos’ complaint is the result of hurt feelings. “The legal system produces winners and losers,” the statement says. “Sometimes losers get their feelings hurt. Often the easiest person to blame for an unwanted outcome is the judge.”

The statement, which says an unnamed lawyer “has already been forced to recant some of his claims and has even offered an apology,” goes on to say that “there are hundreds of attorneys who appear in this court who are satisfied” and that Pratt “looks forward to a speedy resolution of this criticism from one unhappy lawyer.” Blakemore confirmed the statement is referring to Enos. While the mis-marking and backdating of renditions and other documents are the crux of Enos’ complaint, it also says Pratt “takes months to make rulings in contested cases” when most family court judges do so immediately or within a few days. Enos alleges that the backdating or other mis-markings are meant to cover up the delays, writing in his complaint that “Pratt was acting like a fourth-grader who, on the day after her parents got the report card with the ‘F’ for not doing homework, stayed up late and did her homework assignments and dated them six weeks before.” Enos, whose law firm has a case scheduled for trial in Pratt’s court Friday morning, said his quarrel with the judge, who was first elected in 2010, is not personal.

“The only times I’ve had actual cases in Judge Pratt’s court, my clients have won, so I’m not disgruntled against her personally, but I’m just upset by what I see happening,” the attorney said. Several lawyers involved in the cases Enos cites in his complaint said they never have experienced such problems with a judge. Similar complaints Marcia Zimmerman, a 30-year veteran family lawyer based in Clear Lake, said she resorted to filing a motion after waiting for months on a ruling from Pratt. When the ruling finally came in, she was surprised to see the date listed was months before she had filed her motion. “I don’t think any of us believed the ruling was actually made before the petition for writ of mandamus because, why would she rule and not tell anybody?” Zimmerman said, noting that Pratt also missed two scheduled hearings. Family lawyer Robert Clark said he had a similar experience, arguing a case in January and then waiting five months for a ruling from Pratt that the official court record now says was issued on Jan. 30, the day before the two-day trial actually ended. “The thing is, it’s had a seriously adverse affect on the child in this case and my client,” Clark said. “This is just egregious.” Enos’ previous complaint against Galveston County Court-at-Law Judge Christopher Dupuy was filed with the Galveston County DA’s Office, which forwarded it to the state attorney general. Dupuy was indicted on eight criminal counts charging him with abuse of office in May and, in August, arrested for contempt of court and sentenced to 45 days in jail. Last month, he resigned from the bench and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in exchange for two years of probation. Blakemore said Pratt intends to run for a second term and already has begun campaigning. The filing deadline is Dec. 9.

If the allegations hold up, though, the Harris County Republican Party may ask Pratt to step aside, said Chairman Jared Woodfill, who is convening an advisory board to review Enos’ complaint. The last time the board convened was in 2006 to review allegations against former Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, who eventually decided not to run. “We don’t turn a blind eye to these allegations,” Woodfill said. “We are going to be looking into them and we will proceed accordingly.”

KRNV investigates Nevada Attorney General & Carson City District Court BACKDATING SCANDAL

KRNV investigates Nevada Attorney General BACKDATING SCANDAL in Carson City Nevada. NAG Catherine Cortez Masto’s office backdated court filings twice in the Carson City District Court. The court clerks and Judge James E. Wilson refuse to go on camera and are all implicated in the illegal backfilings.