Crime

Solicitor stands by Centre County, Bellefonte investigative efforts vs. District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller

Centre County solicitor Louis Glantz on Thursday responded to concerns raised by the lawyer for District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller in the wake of a search warrant served over the weekend at the Parks Miller’s office in Bellefonte.

Glantz said county officials have researched issues raised by Parks Miller’s attorney, Bruce Castor Jr., in a letter sent Tuesday after commissioners voted to approve a contract with Carlisle-based Abom and Kutulakis. The law firm will act as special counsel for the county in the wake of forgery allegations against Parks Miller.

Castor wrote that the statutes commissioners cited to appoint a special prosecutor have been superseded by the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, which created the Office of the Attorney General, and grants that agency criminal jurisdiction in cases like Parks Miller’s.

“I respectfully request you permit OAG to do its statutory duty and desist from any further collateral action that would circumvent the provisions of the Commonwealth Attorneys Act,” Castor wrote.

The office assumed that jurisdiction when Parks Miller reported the matter and she has been cooperative, Castor wrote.

In his response Thursday, Glantz also raised concerns over the fairness of involving the Attorney General’s Office. Employees of the Attorney General’s Office could be called as witnesses, and Glantz brought up a “long-standing and well-known” relationship between Parks Miller and state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Glantz wrote that the Commonwealth Attorneys Act does not grant “exclusive” jurisdiction to the Attorney General’s Office in the matter and that Bellefonte police have the right to investigate alleged crimes in the borough. Claims against Parks Miller should be resolved as quickly as possible to prevent further disruption of the criminal justice system in Centre County, Glantz wrote, and Bellefonte police are already investigating the issue.

“The Office of the Attorney General informed me directly yesterday they have not initiated any active investigation,” Glantz wrote.

A spokesman with the Attorney General’s Office, Aaron Sadler, declined to comment on the status of any investigation, but said it has been two years since Kane and Parks Miller have seen or talked with one another.

“That has no bearing on the responsibilities of this office,” he said in an email.

Castor said he read the response, and his original letter was to notify county officials about the involvement of the Attorney General’s Office. A petition filed by Castor in Centre County court Monday also alleged that the commissioners acted in conspiracy with Glantz and local attorneys Philip Masorti and Bernard Cantorna to attack Parks Miller “with actual malice” for doing her job. The commissioners, Glantz and both attorneys denied the allegations.

“I stand by my previous statements,” Castor said. “This is nothing more than a concerted attempt by Centre County officials to retaliate against the DA for prior slights and it will fail.”

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