Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller is asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider a ruling that on Friday denied a petition to intervene in the investigation of forgery allegations made by a former paralegal in her office.
The application for reconsideration, also filed Friday, requests that the order be suspended to allow the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General to make its position regarding jurisdiction in the matter known to the court. The matter of who holds jurisdiction has been a source of conflict between Parks Miller and Centre County commissioners and solicitor Louis Glantz after the allegations were made public at a commissioners meeting last month.
Parks Miller denies the allegations and said she notified the Attorney General’s Office as soon as she was made aware of the accusations, before the commissioners meeting. She and her attorneys maintain that, under the Commonwealth Attorney’s Act, the Attorney General’s Office has exclusive jurisdiction in any investigation into matters involving conflicts of interest with a district attorney.
The commissioners and Glantz maintain there is shared jurisdiction between the Attorney General’s Office and Bellefonte police, who have jurisdiction in the borough.
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The Attorney General’s Office declined to comment.
John Abom, attorney for commissioners Steve Dershem and Chris Exarchos and Glantz, said the county will file a short answer to the application pointing out that the Attorney General’s Office is capable of making its own legal interests known and it is not Parks Miller’s place to do so.
Abom also expressed concern that the application gives the appearance that Parks Miller and her attorneys are consulting with the Attorney General’s Office.
“If they are conferring, that would be highly inappropriate as that is the very same office to which she acknowledged she referred a report of her own alleged criminal conduct,” Abom said in an email.
Bruce Castor Jr., attorney for Parks Miller, said filing the application is necessary and a procedural matter. Because the petition was decided on, he said, there is no case to file on and it has to be put back in an open posture for the Attorney General’s Office to properly make a filing on the matter before the court.
The petition before the state Supreme Court regards a point of law, Castor said, in this case that the Attorney General’s Office is the proper authority to investigate and potentially prosecute a district attorney when there is a conflict.
“Lawyers potentially on opposing sides of any question often agree on points of law and jointly request a court to rule,” Castor said in an email.