Judge orders Orie sisters to stand trial together

Posted: August 24, 2012

PITTSBURGH - A judge has ruled that a suspended state Supreme Court justice should be tried on corruption charges alongside her sister.

Justice Joan Orie Melvin is charged with using her former Superior Court staff to campaign for her in 2003 and again in 2009, when she finally won a seat on the state's highest court. Her sister Janine Orie, who headed the Superior Court staff, is charged with helping direct the campaigning while she was on the state payroll.

Allegheny County Court Judge Jeffrey A. Manning also reassigned the case to Judge Lester G. Nauhaus. Melvin's lawyers had asked Manning to step aside and had wanted separate trials. The Orie sisters have consistently maintained that the charges are politically motivated, but prosecutors deny that. - AP

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