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District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller Cleared of Forgery Charges

by on July 31, 2015 9:54 AM

While the dramatic battle in the Centre County government rages on, one chapter came to a close on Friday morning.

Centre County district attorney Stacy Parks Miller will not face criminal charges related to allegations of forging a judge's signature.

According to a press release from attorney general Kathleen Kane, a statewide investigating grand jury found no evidence to support charging Parks Miler with forgery, tampering with records, or theft of services.

In a statement released through her attorney Bruce Castor, Stacy Parks Miller calls attention to the fact that she had repeatedly denied the forgery allegations and thanks the investigating grand jury for its time and effort.

"Those responsible for conspiring to ruin her reputation and damage the public’s trust in the justice system must and will be held to account," the statement reads. "This total vindication is the first step in repairing the incalculable harm caused to [Parks Miller] personally and to the judiciary as a whole."

The forgery allegations stem from an affidavit released in late January, in which former paralegal Michelle Shutt alleged that Parks Miller directed her to review old court orders signed by Judge Pamela Ruest and write a fake bail order resembling them. Shutt said that Parks Miller signed the order as the judge and instructed the paralegal to file it with the county prothonotary's office.

The grand jury heard from more than 20 witnesses, including a handwriting expert who found that the signature on the order was the judge's and not a forgery. A second handwriting expert confirmed that finding, according to the press release.

"The grand jury's findings led to a definitive conclusion," Kane said. "Simply put, the evidence does not support criminal charges."

The allegedly fake bail order was said to be part of a plot to charge a man in a murder-for-hire plot. Attorney Philip Masorti made the original complaint based on Shutt's story, and said Parks Miller was attempting to protect an assistant district attorney who was targeted as part of the plot.

The grand jury also investigated allegations that Parks Miller used her staff to perform political work as part of her campaign. It concluded that some campaign document notarizing and copying was performed by her staff, but that the expense was only slightly more than $200, which is too small to warrant criminal charges.

Parks Miller is expected to hold a press conference on Friday afternoon, where she will offer further comment on the grand jury's conclusions.

 

 



Zach Berger is the managing editor of StateCollege.com. He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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