Does Bruce Castor’s association with Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller rightfully raise eyebrows? Is Castor’s acceptance of being appointed as a “Special Deputy District Attorney” call into question his decision-making?
An Opinion Piece By Justin J. McShane
As first reported on The McShane Firm Facebook page Judge Grine swore into office Bruce Castor as a “Special Deputy District Attorney” for Centre County.
Who are Stacy Parks Miller and Bruce Castor and why should you, the voters and residents of Centre and Montgomery County care?
Stacy Parks Miller is the twice elected District Attorney of Centre County. To put it mildly, she is under extreme scrutiny in her community. As has been reported well in the local press in Centre County there are allegations of inappropriate behavior such as detailed allegations under oath of a scheme to forge and record a sitting Judge of the Court of Common Pleas signature on a bail order that was then filed with the Prothonotary/Clerk of Court’s Office. There are allegations of her suggesting and pressuring DA’s Office employees to campaign for her re-election while on county time. There were reports of allegations of her pressuring those who worked for her to work on Election Day for her re-election. There are allegations that public resources being used by her or at her direction in several recent Magisterial District Judge campaigns. There are also claims of emotional instability including several outlandish actions in court. There are several transcripts where one can read an alarming lack of decorum. These matters and more have been turned over for investigation by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.
Bruce Castor is her attorney.
Bruce Castor is running for District Attorney in Montgomery County.
When I write that Bruce is her attorney, I mean that when the Bellefonte Police Department executed a search warrant to search and seize records that might be tied in with the allegations related to illegal campaign work, Bruce was there. When Stacy Parks Miller tried to file an unusual cause of action to halt all investigations into her potential wrongdoing, Bruce signed the documents submitted to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. When several of the defense attorneys in Centre County claimed that Stacy Parks Miller had engaged in possible illegal and unethical ex parte communications with sitting judges based upon cell phone records, Bruce signed on the dotted line to sue them to ask for damages and to try to silence their First Amendment rights to publish. That lawsuit is still going on and Bruce is the named attorney representing Parks Miller. When Parks Miller was called to Court to provide testimony surrounding the Judge Grine lawsuit where the Judge sued the County and the public over released cell phone communications between him and Stacy Parks Miller, Bruce filed the motion to quash the subpoena to try to deprive the right that everyone has to have relevant testimony presented in court.
In the recent civil lawsuit signed by Bruce on Stacy Parks Miller’s behalf are in a word: bizarre. They speak of grand conspiracies against her perpetrated by forces combined to “get her.” It is beyond bizarre. Bruce signed it too.
Now, after Stacy Parks Miller sued two prominent members of the Centre County defense bar and they have rightfully responded that she has a conflict of interest in further prosecuting any cases involving them, who is there? Bruce.
With a raised hand, a few words, and a pen-stroke by Bruce and Judge Grine, Bruce is now officially working in Centre County, perhaps on the public’s dime. [According to press reports he claims that he is not being paid by the County or by Stacy Parks Miller for any of his time or efforts in Centre County. According to a Centre Daily Times article: “Castor said he’s not being paid in his capacity as special assistant in Centre County, but Parks Miller said she plans to seek compensation for Castor. ‘I’ll have to petition the county salary board to determine if I get paid,’ Castor said. Read more here:
That’s right. Stacy Parks Miller’s personal attorney, Bruce Castor, who is handling all of her civil litigation and all of her issues surrounding the criminal probes for her alleged wrong doing is now a Special Deputy Attorney in Centre County.
This is not much of a head scratcher here, now is it?
Why would Stacy Parks Miller do such a thing?
If the theory that Bruce will be an independent prosecutor when Stacy Parks Miller is accused of having a conflict of interest in prosecuting certain cases involving the attorneys that she has sued or to represent her in hearings where she is accused of having a conflict, can anyone honestly say that hiring your civil and criminal lawyer to act “independently” achieves that goal at all?
Here is something to consider:
In the ordinary course of events, if the DA or the DA’s Office has a conflict of interest, the prosecution is referred to Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. There can be no argument that Stacy Parks Miller has created an actual conflict of interest in at least the cases involving Sean McGraw and Andrew Shubin because Stacy Parks Miller sued them by name. Is Parks Miller concerned about having the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General staked out in Centre County to see first-hand all of the dysfunction in Centre County? Might certain judges also be concerned with the PAOAG being in the county for an extended period of time prosecuting side-by-side with Stacy Parks Miller “normal cases,” and seeing her in court and how certain Judges react with her?Two very brave and principled attorneys (left to right): Andrew Shubin and Sean McGraw
Is Bruce there to commingle his private counsel duties for Stacy Parks Miller with the public affairs of that DA’s office?
How on Earth can the taxpayers know for certain that Bruce will not be paid with public funds for time that he is actually using in the efforts to prosecute Parks Miller’s civil case or defend her in the PAOAG grand jury investigation? It seems to me to be a legitimate question.
[Before you get any ideas Bruce of suing us here at The McShane Firm and me (Justin McShane) you should check out your own Facebook page title and self-designation:]
For additional information on Centre County and the various matters of litigation, please consider the following posts: