Gavel Grab

PA Justice to be Grand Jury Focus?

The conduct of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Joan Orie Melvin (photo at left) will be investigated by a grand jury, according to a defense lawyer for the justice’s sister.

State Sen. Jane Orie and Janine Orie, the justice’s administrative assistant, face criminal charges in an alleged scandal arising out of Justice Melvin’s successful campaign for the bench last year. James DePasquale, a lawyer who represents Janine Orie, said he understood a grand jury would look at the justice’s conduct, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

A separate grand jury investigation accused Jane Orie and Janine Orie  of using state workers and equipment to aid Justice Melvin’s campaign, and of trying to conceal that effort. Janine Orie is on leave from her job as an aide to Justice Melvin.

A lawyer representing Justice Melvin told the Post-Gazette, “I am not aware of any grand jury in session.” The Orie sisters who face charges are scheduled for a preliminary hearing July 19-20, according to an Associated Press article. You can learn more about the alleged scandal from Gavel Grab.

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