BELLEFONTE, Pa. - State prosecutors on Friday ended a yearlong investigation that had entangled the Centre County district attorney, and laid bare bitter conflicts and allegations among the county's top elected officials.
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said a grand jury probe did not find evidence to charge District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller with forgery or other offenses.
Kane launched the inquiry after a former paralegal in Parks Miller's office filed an affidavit saying she witnessed the district attorney's signing a judge's name on a warrant.
Attorneys presented the affidavit and accused Parks Miller during a county commissioners' meeting in January, and the commissioners have been deeply involved since. Also, Parks Miller and two judges have sued the county for releasing their cellphone records in response to a Right-to-Know request.
The disputes have led to an onslaught of allegations and multiple probes by various entities.
The report also says the commissioners overstepped their authority in asking Bellefonte police to investigate and hiring a firm to act as a special prosecutor.
"At one point, there appeared to be a local investigation, a state investigation, and a private investigation sanctioned by the Centre County commissioners all being undertaken simultaneously," the grand jury report said.
Centre County Judge Pamela A. Ruest has said she did not remember whether she signed the document, which was related to a jailhouse wiretap against an inmate suspected of trying to have a prosecutor killed.
Two handwriting experts concluded that the signature was undoubtedly that of Ruest.
"The grand jury's findings led to a definitive conclusion," Kane said in a statement. "Simply put, the evidence does not support criminal charges."
In a news conference Friday afternoon, Parks Miller demanded that Kane pursue criminal investigations against the paralegal, Michelle Shutt, "and anyone else who assisted, encouraged, and supported her . . . including the Centre County commissioners, the solicitor, Lou Glantz," and possibly Ruest.
The district attorney has long accused defense attorneys and county officials of launching an organized smear campaign as retribution for cases she prosecuted against their friends and relatives.
Sean McGraw, one of the lawyers who accused Parks Miller of abusing her office, said the grand jury finding "doesn't change a thing for me."
He said he does not trust the Attorney General's Office to conduct an impartial investigation, in part because Kane may be facing criminal charges in Montgomery County, where Parks Miller's defense attorney, Bruce L. Castor Jr., is a county commissioner and is running for district attorney in November.