Former district attorney says she respects board, will respect any discipline handed down for misconduct
Former Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller could lose her law license for one year and one day, but now she’s questioning why she could be so “aggressively sanctioned” and asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reject the sentence.
The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania made its unanimous recommendation in December after a hearing committee recommended a three-month suspension in August.
Parks Miller exited office at the end of 2017 accused of creating, disseminating and using a fake Facebook page to “snoop” on suspected bath salt dealers. She was also accused of ex parte communications with Judge Jonathan Grine and former Judge Bradley Lunsford.
Parks Miller eventually admitted to those allegations after she missed the deadline to file her response and could not contest the allegations.
However, in a petition filed Monday asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reject the recommendation, her attorney James Kutz compared the sanctions between those involved.
Grine received a “letter of counsel” — a public reprimand — in 2017, while Lunsford received no discipline.
“The recommended sanction of one year and one day is arbitrary and capricious,” Kutz wrote. “It shocks the conscience and is out of line with any discipline imposed on the two judicial officers who were involved in the alleged ex parte communications.”
Parks Miller and Kutz also claimed the allegations against her stemmed from a “fraudulent affidavit” filed by attorney Philip Masorti.
Parks Miller’s former administrative assistant Michelle Shutt told Masorti in 2015 that Parks Miller forged a judge’s signature on a fake bail order. A grand jury ultimately found those allegations to be false.
“(Parks Miller) submits such wrongfully obtained ‘information’ should not be allowed to serve as the sole basis for this quasi-penal discipline,” Kutz wrote. “The fraudulent affidavit, the conduct of attorney Masorti (and) the actions of the Bellefonte Police Department ... have ruined (Parks Miller) as she will never see public office again.”
Alternatively, Parks Miller has since opened her own law firm and requested the Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspend her for no longer than three months.
“She seeks only to move on with her professional life, having suffered what is approximately four years of a living nightmare,” Kutz wrote.”