Tracie Hunter released from jail after serving nearly 3 months

Updated: Oct. 5, 2019 at 9:26 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Former Judge Tracie Hunter was released from the Hamilton County Justice Center Saturday morning after serving only two months.

“I owe it to the many supporters who came just before daybreak to welcome me back home, to show them that although searching men tried to destroy my spirit by throwing me in jail, it didn’t work," Hunter said after she was released. "I am still strong, I am still here, I am still standing and I am still ready and committed to fight for justice and equality until truth and righteousness prevails.”

The former Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge was convicted in 2014 of unlawful interest in a public contract, a felony.

She was accused of giving confidential records to her brother, a juvenile court employee who was in the process of being fired.

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I could not take responsibility for dividing a community that has always been divided by race, politics, religion, and socioeconomics nor could I accept responsibility for a brutal act committed against me, not by me," said Hunter. "Therefore, I chose to work my way out of jail by doing what I was already doing when I was thrown in jail- pastoring, ministering and serving those in need.”

The Hamilton County Sheriff notified the court Wednesday and announced her release Thursday.

“Tracie Hunter will be released from the Justice Center on October 5, 2019,” Sheriff Jim Neil said in a prepared statement. “After my review of her participation in a court-authorized work detail program, I have concluded that Tracie Hunter began the required service on August 12, 2019. Therefore, using the criteria within our policy to apply credit to her sentence, my staff determined that an earlier release date was appropriate.”

“Upon visiting Judge Tracie Hunter last night, although weak and dizzy, she was smiling and excited,” said Bishop Bobby Hilton in a statement early Friday.

“Earlier in the day, she was informed by Sheriff Jim Neil of the consideration and recalculation resulting in her release date being moved up to Saturday, October 5, 2019. While there is much more work to do regarding the injustice Judge Tracie Hunter has suffered, we thank God for keeping her safe, and we thank Sheriff Jim Neil for his work in authorizing and ordering her release tomorrow.”

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker sentenced Hunter July 22 to six months minus one day.

FOX19 NOW learned Hunter signed papers to shorten her jail stay about three weeks into her sentence.

In exchange for counseling inmates, she only has to serve one day for every three days of her sentence.

Hunter plans to release a full-length post-jail statement Oct. 12 at the New Prospect Church for a benefit concert.

Proceeds will go to help Hunter’s case.

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