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D.A. responds to criticism of refusal to further investigate prescription drug-related death

November 30, 2011

Elk County District Attorney Brad Kraus

Elk County District Attorney Bradley J. Kraus responded this week to requests by The Daily Press for comment on his decision not to further investigate the death of an area woman whose family members, along with area attorney Shawn McMahon, claim died as a result of prescription drug-related complications.
Kraus responded following a press conference held last Friday on the steps of the Elk County Courthouse in Ridgway, during which Ridgway resident and father of the deceased, James Buehler, called for a formal investigation into the death of his daughter, Heather Buehler Armanini, whom he claims was prescribed excessive amounts of potentially dangerous medications by an area physician. According to McMahon, Armanini's autopsy determined the manner of death to have been "unnatural," with the cause of death being liver failure likely the result of "acetaminophen toxicity."
Buehler said that since his daughter's death on July 7, 2008, he has contacted various law enforcement agencies, judicial bodies and state officials, including state Attorney General Linda L. Kelly, in an effort to initiate an investigation, but all have declined. Most recently, Buehler sent a petition signed by area residents to Governor Tom Corbett calling on the governor to intervene in the matter. In his address to the governor as well as in a paid ad that appeared in area newspapers this past summer, Buehler was critical of local officials, most notably Kraus, for not launching a formal investigation into the case.
Buehler claims that Kraus did not respond to his requests for an investigation or to evidence that was presented to him. Kraus said he met with Buehler and Punxsutawney-based attorney Jeff Lundy on March 8, 2010.
"I had a long discussion with him and his attorney as to my review of the case. I met with Mr. Buehler and his attorney for a period of time at my office and provided an opportunity for them to meet with me and I had a time to explain to them and I've done that. So, I have nothing further to comment about with respect to that because I think that, that would potentially disclose conversations I had with him and I don't think that's fair to anybody involved," Kraus said.
Kraus said he could not comment on his reasons for declining to further investigate the matter, nor the reason other federal and state agencies contacted by Buehler decided ultimately not to investigate.
"Why other agencies have made their decisions, I can't comment on because I am not a part of those agencies. I'll just repeat the fact that I met with Mr. Buehler and his attorney at the time, Mr. Lundy, at my office and reviewed with him my position with respects to the case. I'm not going to disclose what I told him because I don't think that would be fair, but I certainly told him of my review of all the facts and circumstances and what my decision was at that time," Kraus said.
While Armanini's death occurred in Allegheny County, according to McMahon, who is serving as Buehler's attorney, the prescribing doctor's practice was based out of Elk County.
Kraus explained that the location of Armanini's death had not factored into his decision not to take the case and would not preclude the case from being heard in an Elk County courtroom if it moves forward.

Comments

eyes wide CLOSED:

December 8, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 3 years 2 weeks ago
Comment: 302

Getting under your THIN skin I see...... Thank U 4 responding. It made my day.................. Child Please!

Notice how easily I got you

December 10, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 3 years 2 weeks ago
Comment: 303

Notice how easily I got you off subject? You are a poor debater.

Not much of an attention span, anyway your not under my skin I thought I would try to stoop to your level try your insane tactoc, and maybe you would understand how ridiculous you look when you make all these deragatory uninformed posts.
I think I make have cracked your shell, but alas you are hopeless.

Be good have a merry christmas

This is so typical of the Elk

December 2, 2011 by screwed over dad (not verified), 3 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 297

This is so typical of the Elk County court system.This is a perfect example of a kangaroo court.The only thing they are worried about is how far they can get their hands in your pockets.Justice means nothing to these clowns.

what kind of a name is that

December 3, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 3 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 299

what kind of a name is that your using? Seems your not a very good example for being a dad!

All your worried about is getting your food stamps and welfare checks, and I bet you got a baggie of pot in your closet there screwed over!

Eyes Wide Open:

December 6, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 3 years 2 weeks ago
Comment: 300

Now U R Judge, Jury and Executioner? Who cares what the "handle" is. Once again U look FOOLISH....... Grow Up Child.

I love it when the accuser

December 7, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 3 years 2 weeks ago
Comment: 301

I love it when the accuser does not stand up for themselves. Then when someone like you who makes accusations based on little or no factual evidence gets upset because someone has used the very tactic you employ to get the rumor mill going.

Cosa cosa cosa we have been here before and you lost. Don't try to spin this another way.

C:Counter productive
O:Out of touch with reality
S:Senseless
A: Can't use that 7 letter word here but you know what I'm talking about when you look in the mirror.

I figure the 69 is you IQ?

DA

December 2, 2011 by wyspersft (not verified), 3 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 296

THE FACT THE DA DOESNT WANT TO BE BOTHERED IN NO WAY SUPRISES ME, IT SEEMS TO BE A PATTERN WITH HIM. I WENT THROUGH THE SAME THING, ALTHOUGH MY FAMILY MEMBER IS STILL ALIVE, THANKS TO HER DOCTORS BRINGING HER BACK AFTER 2 TIMES WITH THE CRASH CART, SHE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. THANKS TO THE DA AND STATE POLICE THE FAMILY MEMBER NEVER GOT ANY JUSTICE ONLY A LIFE SENTENCE OF PAIN.

Out of touch

December 2, 2011 by run88run (not verified), 3 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 295

I am concerned with this lack of response to the drug problem in the county that he serves (or lacks to serve). He is so out of touch with the real world that he does not even show any sympathy, remorse, or sorrow for the many families that have gone through similar tragedies. Everyone in this county knows who the doctors are that are pushing these addictive drugs. Why would we not want to do something about this problem that affects us all at some level? Is it politics, long rooted friendships, money, or something else? It is actually easier to get these drugs from a doctor's office than a St. Marys street corner! These doctors are just moved around or given other assignments when something like this occurrs. Doesn't this alone show type of wrongdoing and institutional guilt?

Your making some pretty heady

December 2, 2011 by Eyeswideopen (not verified), 3 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 298

Your making some pretty heady accusations, sometimes "what everybody know" is not actually what happened.

...and your conspiracy theories of money, politics etc is pretty vague, what do you know first hand to back any of this up? If you have that kind of information, first hand REAL information, go to the authorities. Don't say they won't do anything, if they don't and your accusations are based in first hand real facts everyone will back you up, including me.

so what did he say here except:

December 1, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 3 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 294

absolutely NOTHING......? What a cop out.

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