If you thought the back-and-forth battles around the Centre County District Attorney’s Office were all over but the appeals, you were wrong.
On Friday, DA Stacy Parks Miller filed a new batch of documents asking prothonotary Debra Immel to issue writs of summons for a new suit.
The documents say the DA has commenced action against Bellefonte borough, Bellefonte police and Chief Shawn Weaver, Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe, former Ferguson Township police Officer Brian Sprinkle and his current employer, digital forensics company PATC Tech.
In a separate case, Parks Miller also filed a new case against the county
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No further information was given, making it hard for people to comment on what exactly the new suit might entail.
“No comment, as I don’t know what the suit is yet,” Weaver said.
The fact that it is just the latest suit, however, does leave breadcrumbs to follow.
Pipe was sued in his official capacity in Parks Miller’s suit against all of the players in the 2015 courthouse scandal that erupted when allegations were raised at a commissioners’ meeting that the DA had forged a judge’s signature on a fake bail order as part of the investigation into death threats allegedly made against an assistant district attorney.
No charges were pressed in that case, after an investigating grand jury heard testimony from two handwriting experts from the same firm who testified the signature belonged to Judge Pamela Ruest, but not before the Bellefonte police served a search warrant on Parks Miller’s office.
But that wasn’t where anything ended. Parks Miller has been on the giving or receiving end of a number of suits since then.
There were fights over cellphone data when attorneys alleged improper texting between the DA’s office and Judge Bradley P. Lunsford during a trial. PATC Tech is the third-party agency that is in possession of the electronic devices in question.
There were fights over what was and wasn’t allowed to be given under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, and who could make the decisions.
There was Parks Miller’s suit against another long list of defendants, including the county, the commissioners (including Pipe), the solicitor and administrator, Ruest, a number of defense attorneys (including Parks Miller’s presumptive successor Bernie Cantorna) and her former paralegal, Michelle Shutt, whose affidavit about the alleged forgery started the ball rolling.
Brann also dismissed Shutt’s own suit against Parks Miller, which is being appealed to the same court.