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Joan Orie Melvin Trial
Tue May 7, 2013
Ex-PA Justice Melvin Gets House Arrest and Probation
Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin has been sentenced to three years house arrest and two years of probation for misusing her Superior Court staff to aid in her campaign efforts.
Melvin, 57, was found guilty of using the staff in her failed campaign in 2003 and then again during her successful campaign in 2009.
Allegheny County Judge Lester Nauhaus said he does not believe Melvin is an evil person, but he said her "arrogance is stunning."
"What kind of role model are you? These are felonies, this isn't a parking ticket, and your children's mother is a convicted felon," Nauhaus told Melvin, a married mother of six.
While on house arrest, Melvin will be allowed to attend church, and is ordered to work at a soup kitchen three times a week.
Nauhaus also ordered Melvin to have her picture taken by a county photographer. She will have to write a note of apology on the picture and send one to every judge in the commonwealth. She has also been ordered to write a letter of apology to her former staff and her family members.
Janine Orie, Melvin’s sister, has been sentenced to one year of house arrest and two years of probation. She will be allowed to attend church during that time and must also write letters of apology to staff and family.
Another sister of Melvin’s, former state senator Jane Orie, was found guilty of similar charges and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 10 years in prison last year.
Melvin stepped down after her February conviction on theft of services and other charges; her resignation took effect May 1. She has already surrendered her law license and will likely lose her pension.
Melvin has said she will appeal the conviction.
Gov. Tom Corbett has 90 days to name Melvin's replacement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Joan Orie Melvin