Former Mercer County DA sentenced in obstruction case involving his lover
The former Mercer County District Attorney who was convicted in January of abusing his position of power to influence criminal cases involving his lover was sentenced Wednesday to probation and community service.
Miles Karson, 73, of Sharon was sentenced to four years of probation and 300 hours of community service.
Karson was in his first term as district attorney. He resigned after he was convicted of obstruction and official oppression charges. He was replaced as district attorney by Mercer County lawyer Pete Acker.
Mercer County is about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.
Karson, a McKeesport native and a Vietnam veteran who served as an officer with the 82nd Airborne Division, said during the trial that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was in the midst of a battle with metastatic prostate cancer, the latter of which left him impotent and without a sex drive.
Prosecutors argued that Karson was romantically involved with 41-year-old admitted heroin addict Tonya Bulboff, formerly of Greenville, and that he called a police chief and two district judges requesting leniency in criminal cases against Bulboff — namely that she be given unsecured bonds so she could remain out of jail while the cases proceeded.
Karson also defused a domestic disturbance call at his Sharon home when police responded after he and Bulboff had a loud fight.
“Everything’s fine, fellas,” Karson testified he told the police when he came to the door to speak with them.
Karson claimed his relationship with Bulboff revolved around trying to turn her life around, he testified.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office was happy Karson was out of office.
“Miles Karson took advantage of the power of his office to tip the scales of justice in favor of his romantic partner,” Shapiro said in a statement. “As attorney general, I will not allow any person in power to abuse their public office. We are pleased Karson will no longer serve in public office and will no longer be able to betray the people’s trust.”
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .