The Allegheny County grand jury presentment against Janine Orie paints a picture of Justice Joan Orie Melvin which shows her unfit to continue sitting as a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The extent of the corruption and illegal activity done in her judicial chambers, in her name and on her behalf, illustrates a pattern of criminality dwarfing any done by some sitting in prisons as the result of BonusGate. One does have to wonder how Tom Corbett neglected this level of corruption in the highest echelon of state government.
Joan Orie Melvin, as a sitting Judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court, employed her sister Janine Orie to run her office and staff as a political campaign operation to such an extent they had to take legitimate judicial work home to do on their own time (unpaid) because they couldn’t complete it during the day. Janine Orie spent as much as three hours a day, on taxpayer time, running Orie Melvin’s 2003 Supreme Court campaign directly from her judicial chambers using state staff and resources.
A good number of legislative staffers and former State Representatives have been convicted and sent to prison for the same corrupt deeds. The extensive testimony of former and present staffers, one of whom was fired when she refused to continue violating state law, indicts Janine Orie, and by association her sister, paints a picture of an office out of control. State Sen. Jane Orie comes off as some sort of spoiled brat screaming at staffers when they refused to break the law.
How does Joan Orie Melvin sit in judgment against others when she is a crook? In 2003 all of her judicial staff were ordered to work the polls on election day even though state law prohibited them from engaging in partisan political activity. Another law specifically prohibits judges from engaging in ANY partisan political activity unless it is in the year they are running for office or retention. It is never legal to use state paid staff and state provided resources for political purposes.
Justice Joan Orie Melvin needs to either publicly explain her sister’s extensive use of taxpayer resources for her campaigns or resign from the Court immediately.