PA Prosecutor Accused of Using Power to Help Girlfriend

A grand jury filed more than a dozen criminal charges against District Attorney Miles Karson of Mercer County, Pa. Karson, 72, was accused of obstructing the administration of law by asking other officials to help a woman who was put on probation on drug charges.

Mercer County, Pa., District Attorney Miles Karson says won’t resign and will fight accusations that he used his power and influence to benefit his girlfriend, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. After a seven-month grand jury investigation, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office on Thursday filed more than a dozen criminal charges against  Karson, 72. “I can assure you that I have committed no offenses and I am anxious to fight the allegations,” he said. Karson, who took office in January 2016, is charged with multiple counts of obstructing the administration of law; official oppression; attempted obstruction; and hindering prosecution.

“The investigation revealed that Karson intentionally obstructed the administration of law through breaches of his official duties, interfered with the rights of others through abuse of the power vested in his office and hindered the apprehension and prosecution of his paramour, Tonya Bulboff,” the grand jury said. Its report outlines incident after incident in which the district attorney is alleged to have interfered with the justice system on behalf of Bulboff, 39, who was put on probation for a year on drug charges this month. 39-year-old Mercer County woman identified as Tonya Bulboff. Among other charges, the grand jury said that Karson contacted the Farrell, Pa., police chief to request a low or non-monetary bond for Bulboff, who had been arrested for theft of more than $30,000 from a local business through stolen checks and forgeries. Karson was also accused telling a judge that Bulboff was a “family friend” and asking that “she not go to jail” or that she receive low bail. Karson allegedly contacted an alleged victim in a theft case against Bulboff in an effort to to persuade him to be “lenient” on Bulboff at a preliminary hearing.