Multiple Right-to-Know appeals pending in county

Lawyers for Centre County won’t be the only ones making appeals in regards to Right-to-Know requests.

The Centre County Public Defender’s Office has entered an appeal with the state Office of Open Records over requests filed last year for records of communication between Judge Bradley P. Lunsford and members of the District Attorney’s Office in eight cases that went to trial before the judge.

Convictions were handed down in each of the cases that records were requested for. Notable ones include Danielle Packer, Rockview rapist Omar Best, child sex abusers Elvin Lamey and Philip Colton and attempted murderer Randall Brooks.

Chief Public Defender David Crowley was out of the office and could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In the meantime, an additional order was issued by Huntingdon County Senior Judge Stewart Kurtz in the case brought against the county by District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller. After a hearing last week, Kurtz ordered that the county illegally produced records of communications between Parks Miller and county judges in response to Right-to-Know requests filed by attorneys.

Kurtz issued similar orders in other cases brought against the county by Court of Common Pleas Judge Jonathan D. Grine and District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker.

In the new order, filed Tuesday, Kurtz writes that a “dispute” has arisen between the county and Parks Miller over what records are public and can be answered with requests through the county and what records are judicial and should be forwarded to and answered by Parks Miller, the Right-to-Know officer for the District Attorney’s Office.

The order further states that the county is prohibited from producing emails or letters to or from the District Attorney’s Office.