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Protesters surround statue, claim ‘corruption’ at courthouse

"Anonymous" protesters hold up signs in front of the Andrew Curtin statue Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 in Bellefonte. Source: Phoebe Sheehan

This material belongs to: Centre Daily Times.

Taking down Civil War-era statues has become a hot-button issue around the country in recent weeks.

The issue hit Centre County on Wednesday, but with a contemporary twist.

Outside the Centre County Courthouse, a small group of protesters gathered by the statue of Andrew Curtin, a Bellefonte native who served as Pennsylvania’s governor during the Civil War.

Curtin wasn’t a slave owner. In fact, he was a strong supporter of Abraham Lincoln who committed Pennsylvania troops early and sent soldiers to protect Washington, D.C., according to

But Nick Adams claims the former statesman was corrupt, which was why Adams was there to protest the corruption among modern-day officials, he said.

Adams, of Port Matilda, is one of a number of people who have been picketing and protesting amid the ongoing controversies at the courthouse since 2015.

“Why they want such a corrupt individual out in front of this corrupt courthouse, I guess it fits,” Adams said.

The protest came one day after Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine accepted a letter of counsel from the Judicial Conduct Board for inappropriate conduct regarding text messages with District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller that could have contributed to “improper influence” in the courtroom.

Parks Miller has been the main focus of the controversy, from allegations of forgery in 2015 that were discounted by a grand jury to issues with texting and calling Grine and another judge to a number of lawsuits against elected officials, local attorneys, Bellefonte borough and the county itself. Parks Miller lost the primary election in May to Bernie Cantorna, one of the attorneys she sued.