Centre County protests District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller’s 4th Amendment lawsuit

CDT photo

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller and some county officials continued their legal tug-of-war Tuesday.

The DA filed a lawsuit last year against the county, the commissioners, the administrator and solicitor, her former legal assistant, Judge Pamela A. Ruest and several defense attorneys.

The suit came after Parks Miller was accused of forging Ruest’s signature on a document as part of an investigation. The Office of Attorney General presented the case to a grand jury, which declined to recommend charges, deciding there was no evidence of forgery. Parks Miller said the incident damaged her reputation.

Parks Miller filed documents earlier this month that pushed back on the one charge a federal judge still left on the table after dismissing most of the suit. That charge was a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights of privacy.

County counsel Mary Lou Maierhofer argued in her latest filing that Parks Miller did not follow the judge’s directions and the new complaint should be dismissed.

Commissioner Steve Dershem and former commissioner Chris Exarchos are both named, as well as former administrator Tim Boyde and former solicitor Louis Glantz, but Maierhofer says that without stipulation of whether they are being sued as individuals or as officials, the case against them should be dismissed.

Part of the case against the county stems from a search warrant served on Parks Miller’s office by the Bellefonte police after the allegations were raised at a public meeting.

“(Parks Miller) must identify facts that the search at its inception was unreasonable,” Maierhofer wrote.

She also argued that Parks Miller should have no expectation of privacy in a county office with county-provided computer and phone.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce