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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:32 PM

Jury finds Orie Melvin guilty on all but one count

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Paula Reed Ward / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A jury found suspended Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin guilty on all but one count today. Her sister, Janine Orie, was found guilty on all but one count.

The sisters were charged with misapplication of government funds, theft of services and conspiracy for using the justice's former Superior Court staff and the legislative staff of a third sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, to run campaigns for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009.

Among the allegations are that staffers wrote speeches, drove her to campaign events and worked the polls.

The jury was hung on one count of official oppression against Justice Orie Melvin.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/politics-state/jury-deliberating-orie-melvin-public-corruption-case-close-to-verdict-676334/

The PA Supreme Court is currently short one (Republican) judge. As I understand it, now that she's been convicted, Governor Corbett will be able to appoint a new justice.

Until now, she couldn't serve on the court, but couldn't be replaced, so the court was balanced with 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats. Assuming Corbett appoints a Republican and the legislature approves (a likely assumption) it will go back to 4 Repubs and 3 Dems.

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Reply Jury finds Orie Melvin guilty on all but one count (Original post)
drm604 Feb 2013 OP
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #1
mrmpa Feb 2013 #2
drm604 Feb 2013 #3
mrmpa Feb 2013 #4
happyslug Feb 2013 #5
Tx4obama Feb 2013 #6
Sunlei Feb 2013 #7
Tx4obama Feb 2013 #8

Response to drm604 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:46 PM

1. Now if we could just o the same to Clarence Thomas.


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Response to drm604 (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:15 AM

2. Special Election?...................

shouldn't that occur? I would think that at the upcoming primary, both parties would put up candidate(s) and then in November there would be the final vote.

There was a special election when her sister was convicted on similar charges.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:11 AM

3. Jane Orie was a state Senator, not a Supreme Court justice.

But maybe you're right, I assumed that PA SC judges were appointed but I could be mistaken.

Three sisters, Jane, Joan, and Janine, all convicted. Wow.

Edited to add: Looks like I was mistaken.


When Elections Occur

Judicial elections occur in odd-numbered years. Justices and judges may serve an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 and are retained or re-elected by the voters. Vacancies that exist before an election may be filed by gubernatorial appointment until an election is held. These selections are subject to Senate confirmation.

10 Year Term
Appellate court jurists
Courts of Common Pleas judges

6 Year Term
Magisterial district judges
Philadelphia Municpial Courts judges
Philadelpia Traffic Courts judges

The SC is an appellate court so they're elected to 10 year terms.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:16 AM

4. Yep, I know that...................

and I just read the rule in this morning's paper, her seat on the Supreme Court won't come up for election until 2015. So no special election.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:35 PM

5. Yes it is a little to late


If she had been convicted in December, then that would be more then 10 months before the next election in November. The problem is this is February and I suspect the courts will read the ten month rule as being before the Election prior to 1/1/2014 not before 1/1/2014.

Another reading of the sentence involve can be 10 months before 1/1/2014. The sentence is question is:

The person so appointed shall serve for a term ending on the first Monday of January following the next municipal election more than ten months after the vacancy occurs or for the remainder of the unexpired term whichever is less

Does that mean 10 months before the Muncipal Elections, or 10 months before the first Monday in January AFTER that election? I suspect the later, thus 2015 is the earlist we can have an election, but if the former, then it can be in 2013 IF she is sentenced before March 1, 2013. She is NOT removed from office till she is sentence under Pa Law (If you remember the Bob Dyer sucide, he did it AFTER he had been convicted but before he was sentenced, so he did NOT lose his pension, nor his wife's right to his pension for he died BEFORE he was sentenced). The same here, she is still a Justice till she is sentenced unless she resigns, and if she waits till after March 1, 2013 the above dispute become moot (i.e. under either interpetation there would be no way to have 10 months of a vacacy before 1/1/2014 if she waits to resign after 3/1/2013).

Election of Justices, Judges and Justices of the Peace; Vacancies
Section 13.

(a) Justices, judges and justices of the peace shall be elected at the municipal election next preceding the commencement of their respective terms of office by the electors of the Commonwealth or the respective districts in which they are to serve.

(b) A vacancy in the office of justice, judge or justice of the peace shall be filled by appointment by the Governor. The appointment shall be with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the members elected to the Senate, except in the case of justices of the peace which shall be by a majority. , except in the case of persons selected as additional judges to the Superior Court, where the General Assembly may stagger and fix the length of the initial terms of such additional judges by reference to any of the first, second and third municipal elections more than ten months after the additional judges are selected. The manner by which any additional judges are selected shall be provided by this section for the filling of vacancies in judicial offices.

(c) The provisions of section thirteen (b) shall not apply either in the case of a vacancy to be filled by retention election as provided in section fifteen (b), or in the case of a vacancy created by failure of a justice or judge to file a declaration for retention election as provided in section fifteen

(b) in the case of a vacancy occurring at the expiration of an appointive term under section thirteen (b), the vacancy shall be filled by election as provided in section thirteen (a).


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Response to drm604 (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:50 PM

6. Kick. n/t

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Response to drm604 (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:38 PM

7. can Felons vote in Pa.?

funny, found this in her wiki history. Seems like when they go all ballistic to sue, they're guilty themselves.

Melvin was the plaintiff in the case of Melvin v. Doe (575 Pa. 264), in which she sued to uncover the identity of the anonymous blogger "Grant Street 99," who posted allegations that Melvin had engaged in misconduct by lobbying then-Governor Tom Ridge to appoint an attorney for a judicial seat. The case was appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which ruled in 2003 that anonymous political speech is protected by the First Amendment.[1] In 2004, Melvin dropped the charges.[2]

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Response to drm604 (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:51 PM

8. Related ARTICLE below

Republicans Fake Obama Corruption but PAs 3 Sisters Conviction Shows How Corrupt the GOP Is

In the fantasy world of Republicans President Obama is corrupt, but once again the story of the three very corrupt, powerful, Republican, and very convicted Orie sisters reminds of us which party has the corruption problem.

It is not very often that a state Supreme Court Justice and a state senator get convicted of campaign corruption, but it is even more rare when it occurs in two separate trials and the two are sisters.

The sisters Justice Joan Orie Melvin, older sister Janine Orie, and former state senator Jane Orie have all been convicted of public corruption for a scheme that used state employees to do campaign work. It a story that involves the Orie using a psychic who claimed that angels whispered answers to her in order, and lots of allegations that downfall of the Orie dynasty was a plot by a Democratic prosecutor.

The Ories demonstrated that they were good Republicans through the moment they were led away on chains by blaming their convictions on a Democrat.


Full article here: http://www.politicususa.com/gop-corruption-family-style-3-powerful-pa-sisters-guilty-public-corruption.html

Note: Bbig sections of white space show up within the article on my computer screen, be sure to scroll the whole page on the link above so that you don't miss any of the article.

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