Disciplinary Committee Recommends Suspension of Law License for Former DA
A state disciplinary hearing committee has recommended that former Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller's law license be suspended for three months for violating rules of professional conduct.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition last year and a hearing was held in April on allegations that Parks Miller engaged in ex parte communications with two Centre County judges and created a fictitious Facebook account to tracks suspects later convicted of selling bath salts.
"This case does not involve misconduct of the sensationalized nature reported on by some media sources," the committee's report, issued earlier this week, stated. "Nevertheless this case does involve serious allegations, and admissions, of misconduct, primarily ex parte communications between the District Attorney and judiciary relating to pending cases."
The committee's report, filed earlier this week, said that the vast majority of Parks Miller's communications with the judges were not intended to influence the court, but that in two instances she did attempt to influence Judge Bradley Lunsford in violation of rules of professional conduct.
Parks Miller also violated a rule that more broadly forbids all ex parte communications through communications with Lunsford and Judge Jonathan Grine, according to the committee.
The Facebook page did not rise to the level of a violation but the committee said it was "concerning that the Facebook page did, in fact, 'friend' two defendants in pending cases and remained open after the the investigation into illegal bath salts had been completed." There was no activity on the page after the cases were closed, according to the report.
The committee ultimately found that Parks Miller violated six rules of professional conduct. The state Supreme Court will now decide if it will accept the three-month suspension recommendation. The committee also recommended the suspension not be instituted retroactively as Parks Miller had requested.