CINCINNATI – Tracie Hunter’s attorney began her defense Friday by raising questions about workers backdating documents in the suspended juvenile judge’s court.
The same backdating thing happened in Carson City by Judge James E. Wison, the clerk and the Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto:
After 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.
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.
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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.
“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,