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Verdict Reached in Trial of PA Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, Sister

The justice is accused of allowing her state-paid staff to perform campaign work.

An Allegheny County Common Pleas Court jury Thursday convicted suspended State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin on all but one count of using her former Superior Court staff, and the legislative staff of her sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, to run campaigns for the Supreme court in 2003 and 2009, the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette reported.

The jury was hung on one count of official oppression against the suspended justice. 

Orie Melvin's sister, Janine Orie, was found guilty on all counts, according to the PG. She worked as an administrative assistant to the justice.

After the verdicts were announced, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. issued the following statement:

“I would first like to thank the members of the jury for their hard work and diligence.  This jury, having sat in a court of law, heard the truth about the defendant’s conduct and has made it absolutely clear that no one is above the law irrespective of title or status.”

Former Sen. Jane Orie is serving 2 1/2 to 10 years in prison for five felony convictions involving theft of service and conflict of interest for using her staff to perform political fundraising and campaign work.

The Orie family has lived and been active in political and civic affairs in northern suburban communities for years.

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MMark February 21, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Zapalla on a witch hunt...ridiculous. ashamed to live in this county. Can't say one positive thing about living here, every day another disgrace, I'm starting to look elsewhere to live. I've given up, people here will never see, its an entrenched democratic boys club. I'm out.
SLR February 22, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Good bye M! Happy to live in Allegheny County where it's a crime for politicians to use public funds to advance their campaigns. That's why we have both parties represented in prisons for committing such crimes. Wonderful verdict. Congratulations to our justice system. Good bye M.

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