Crime

Pa. Supreme Court denies petition from Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller.
District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller. CDT photo

The state Supreme Court will not intervene in the Bellefonte Police Department’s investigation into allegations that Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller forged a judge’s signature.

The court denied Parks Miller’s emergency petition to do just that.

Parks Miller argued in it that she was subjected to an illegal search by Bellefonte police and was the target of a conspiracy by county commissioners Steve Dershem, Chris Exarchos and Michael Pipe, county solicitor Louis Glantz and local attorneys Bernard Cantorna and Philip Masorti.

The conspiracy, she has argued, is “retaliation” by the commissioners for doing her job, including investigating Exarchos’ son in connection with a homicide and policy conflicts with the board.

She asked the court to prevent Bellefonte police and the commissioners from investigating, saying the Office of the Attorney General has that authority and not the police or commissioners.

Attorneys for Dershem, Exarchos and Glantz have argued that Bellefonte police and the Attorney General’s Office can have concurrent jurisdiction in an investigation, using statutes in the Pennsylvania County Code as justification.

“Commissioners Dershem and Exarchos and (s)olicitor Glantz are very pleased that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered the merits of Ms. Parks Miller’s lawsuit against them and sided with the (c)ounty’s legal position,” John Abom, an attorney for Dershem, Exarchos and Glantz said in an email. “In doing so, the (c)ourt determined that the provision of the (c)ounty (c)ode which permits a party aggrieved by a district attorney’s willful and gross negligence in the duties of his or her office to seek redress in the courts, remains valid under Pennsylvania law. The (c)ommissioners are saddened and disappointed that a lawsuit was filed against them forcing them and the Supreme Court to spend time and legal resources to defend a law which is not now and never has been found invalid or obsolete.”

Parks Miller’s attorney Bruce Castor Jr., however, said the ruling is inconsequential.

“The decision is of no significance any longer,” Parks Miller’s attorney Bruce Castor Jr. said. “All matters that were brought up related to District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller in that petition were resolved and are no longer relevant or at issue.”

The court did not explain its ruling in docket sheets.

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