BUTLER, Pa. (WKBN) – Friday afternoon, Mercer County District Attorney Miles Karson denied the allegations against him that led to 17 misdemeanor charges.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General and State Police say Karson violated drug laws and interfered in a case with a woman he was involved with romantically.
Inside a small conference room in Butler Friday, Karson addressed questions. All of his comments were read from a prepared statement, which he started off by saying he had not had the opportunity to look at the criminal complaint. Here it is in full:
“I learned last evening for the first time that certain misdemeanor charges had been filed against me by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. I have not, as yet, had a chance to review and evaluate those charges, and therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on them at this time. However, I can assure you that I have committed no offenses and I am anxious to fight the allegations made in the charges of court.
“In the meantime, I intend to perform the duties of my office as District Attorney of Mercer County in conformance with the law. I am declining further comment on these charges because as a lawyer for some 42 years, I am of the opinion that matters such as these should be tried in court and not the media. I am a firm believer in and have great trust in the legal process.”
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office says Karson allegedly intervened in criminal cases involving a women he was in a romantic relationship with named Tonya Bulboff.
A grand jury reportedly found that Karson used his power to keep Bulboff out of jail on several occasions — including a theft case in Farrell — and a number of car crashes where Karson got her away from the scene to avoid possible drunk driving charges.
Miles Karson full press conference
The AG’s office also described an incident in Sharon where Bulboff was in her underwear in the street yelling profanities against Karson. When asked to address his relationship with Bulboff, Karson’s attorney Al Lindsay said this:
“I cannot because that’s the essence of this case,” he said. “And consequently I don’t think I can address that particular thing. I hope you understand.”
Lindsay also went on to say that following the press conference, the pair will no longer be taking any questions from the media to ensure Karson is given a fair trial.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a statement on the case:
Yesterday the 40th statewide investigating grand jury returned a presentment and, as a result, criminal misdemeanor charges were filed against Mercer County District Attorney Miles Karson.
The details of this investigation are disturbing and revealed that Karson intentionally obstructed the administration of law through breaches of his official duties, interfered with the rights of others through abuse of power vested in his office and hindered the apprehension and prosecution of a paramour.
No one is above the law – whether it’s a drug dealer on the street corner or an elected public official.”
Meanwhile, several Mercer County attorney’s have called for Karson’s resignation. That includes Ryan Mergl, who was one of multiple attorney’s called to a meeting back in February by a local judge noting the investigation into Karson.
Mergl released a statement Friday:
The 40th statewide investigating grand jury returned a presentment yesterday resulting in seventeen (17) criminal charges filed against Mercer County District Attorney Miles K. Karson.
The information released today is disturbing, outlining Karson’s use of his office to obstruct the administration of law by breaching his official duties and otherwise abusing the power vested in his office. He is alleged to have made illegal phone calls to judges, infringed on victims’ rights, and interfered with prosecutions of friends.
While Mr. Karson is innocent until proven guilty, Mercer County Residents are entitled to have complete confidence in the office of our chief prosecutor. Karson has breached that confidence – he has gone on the record and admitted to taking many of the inappropriate actions outlined above.
As a former prosecutor, I respect the laws of this Commonwealth and of this nation, and also the great privilege it is to be charged and sworn to uphold them. No person in a position of such trust is entitled to abuse it – through lapse in judgment or otherwise.
As such, I am calling on Miles Karson to do the honorable thing and resign from office. Mercer County residents do not deserve a cloud of doubt surrounding the prosecution of our neighbors. Victims do not have to question in whose interest the prosecutor is working.
Mr. Karson ran on a platform of being tough on crime. It’s time for him to be true to his word and do as he would expect of anyone under prosecution by the Commonwealth, himself included.
Karson’s preliminary hearing is set for December 18.