Close this search box.

Orie Melvin Guilty on 6 of 7 Counts

Joan Orie Melvin 2
Justice Joan Orie Melvin

Pa. Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin is guilty of 6 out of 7 counts of corruption, a jury found Thursday afternoon.

She and her sister Janine Orie used public employees for campaign work and other related activities.

“Although the jury acquitted her of one count, Melvin, 56, will likely be stripped of her seat on the state’s highest court, and will likely lose her pension,” reported Adam Brandolph of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

She’s only the second justice ever to be removed from the bench on the grounds of criminality. The Republican from Allegheny County was elected to the high court in 2009.

Her sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie (R-Allegheny), was convicted on similar grounds in 2012.

Pending any appeals, her soon-to-be-vacant seat will be filled by a nominee of Gov. Tom Corbett’s choosing per the state constitution. The replacement justice will serve until his or her replacement is elected during the 2015 campaign.

15 Responses

  1. Good to see Signor Ferrari of CasablancaPa posting. CasablancaPa is a archive of Bonusgate misadventures. AG Corbett let the Senate skate and I would think the Orie’s thought they were above the law.

    This is tragic because it is just result. I don’t think Ories are bad but they allowed desire for power and prestige to override morality and the law. I hope others learn but I am not optimistic.

  2. Where was Tom Corbett at when this was all going on?? Answer chasing Democrats. A sitting justice of our highest court ” Corbett buddy” his answer to the case. He was to busy to investigate her. I guess yet another case of close your eyes. Shame on you Corbett. You should be in jail. Pa are you tired of Corbett protecting his rich powerful buddies yet!!!!

  3. This blog should be retitled “corruptionpa” because it does not matter which party is in power they are there to line their own pockets and reward their campaign donors. PAINDY is right about Chairman Gleason who is now taking a leaf from the Rendell crowd playbook and trying the private label wine gambit. Cronies of Ed or cronies of Tom, they wrap their arms around each other and smoke from the same bong.

  4. Many people have waited a long time for the Ories to pay the piper. They finally found out that they’re not as important as they thought they were and are really quite insignificant. Former judge Orie Melvin and her family have fed from the public trough for many years and have engaged in trying to ruin the lives of anyone who they felt were a threat to their continuing to take full advantage of the public. Remember Grant Street 99? Hmmm. As I recall, nearly 15 years ago, it was written on that blog that Orie-Melvin involved herself in the stuff for which she was convicted yesterday. The Orie family did whatever they could, even threatening bodily harm, to uncover the anonymous blogger solely for the purpose of retaliation for telling the truth. I cannot wonder how the Ories feel now, having their lives turned upside-down, losing their pensions and going to jail? They did it to themselves.

  5. Why couldn’t this seat be on the ballot in 2013 with the party state committees selecting candidates?

  6. Well, Jim Roddey and Rob Gleason said the Ories were great for the last decade or so, so obviously the next move is for them to have Corbett to nominate one of the dwindling number of siblings not yet incarcerated.

  7. There is no joy at this conviction for it highlights the problems of politics in our Judicial System at its worst. Power politics and big money!
    That the Governor is allowed to appoint a replacement for her seat does the people of PA no good. It was he who ignored her transgressions as he sought higher office by only dealing with Democrats first instead of running an even handed broad based bi-partisan investigation. Even to the end he failed to dare challenge her regional autocracy.
    We in PA still follow the old “political family” model steeped in the politics of regional power plays and big money.
    It is time to allow the Bar to openly promote Democrats and Republicans from within their ranks to their prospective political allies!

    A system based on lawyers judging the judges and presenting to the public a list of judges for selection that allows for further political selection based on a proven record of solid judicial thought might work better for our state. Politics about judicial philosophy is better than what we have now – a bunch of insiders with money playing the system like a whore playing a player piano and acting like virtuosos.
    Let them select a panel based on judicial and legal scholarship that the parties can use as the initial basis for their decisions on who to present to the voters. Then in a no holds barred discussion of just who these judges were as lawyers among their peers and how they represent philosophical and practical decisions would acknowledge the reality of our political/judicial world.
    It is time to stop the plumbers from picking brain surgeons. Conversely it should still be up to those within the political parties to select their best for trial before an electorate weary of insider trading for justice.
    But perhaps I propose too soon that we are ready to become adults about how we select justice over power.

  8. Funny how the evidence that led to this conviction was sitting on the hard drives of the Senate Republican Caucus when it was subpoenaed by Tom Corbett in 2008. The witnesses who revealed the illegal activity spoke willingly to the Allegheny County D.A. but never were questioned by Tom Corbett. The whistleblower who cracked the case first went to Tom Corbett was turned away. And Tom Corbett told the Patriot-News editorial board yesterday “If we’d found anything, we’d have prosecuted.” It could be no more obvious that he Was. Not. Looking.

  9. Last line should be…Dems just need to pick the right candidates so they don’t blow this seldom seen opportunity

  10. steven todd, you are not as important as you think you are. you are impulsively liberal and always a douche bag.

  11. Russ Diamond just posted the following on FB: “We (PACleanSweep) let her slide in 2007 because she refused the pay raise and even sued to decline it. Then she went on to use our actions as a talking point during her 2009 election bid for Supreme Court. I regret giving her ANY leeway at all. Sorry, Pennsylvania – I feel partially responsible. We deserve better.”

    I don’t think PACleanSweep should feel bad. She was the only judge I voted to retain in that election, and solely because she opposed the pay raise. I share responsibility.

  12. 2015 will be important year for judicial elections in PA. Orie-Melvin and most likely Castile (that is if court challenge to mandatory retirement at 70 fails, which it probably will) openings. You will see a ton of judges on both sides get into the primary for these 2 seats. Dems will be favored with Philly mayoral and Allegheny County Exec elections going on. Dems just need to pick the right candidates so they blow this seldom seen opportunity.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen