New Castle News

February 21, 2013

Suspended Supreme Court Justice Melvin convicted of six counts

By Staff
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin has been convicted of six of seven campaign corruption charges while her sister Janine Orie has been convicted of the six counts she faced.

Also Thursday, jurors said they were unable to reach a decision on the charge of official oppression against Melvin, who was accused of firing her law clerk when she objected to doing political work in 2003.

The two sisters were found guilty of theft of services and criminal conspiracy.

They were charged by Allegheny County prosecutor with conspiring to use Melvin’s state-funded judicial staff — and the state-funded staff of a third sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie — to campaign for the Supreme Court when Melvin was just a Superior Court judge in 2003 and 2009.