Orie Melvin's trial scheduled for Jan. 23

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Suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 23.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester Nauhaus, who was assigned to the case in August, set the date for the trial on seven charges, including theft of services, conspiracy, official oppression and misapplication of entrusted funds.

Justice Orie Melvin, 56, was named in a grand jury presentment in May. The same day, she was suspended from Pennsylvania's high court. In August, the Court of Judicial Discipline ruled that Justice Orie Melvin should not receive her pay during her suspension.

She is accused of using her judicial staff to help her campaign for the Supreme Court in both 2003 and 2009. She won a seat on the court in 2009.

Also charged in the case is Justice Orie Melvin's sister, Janine Orie, who worked with her as an administrative assistant.

Another sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, was convicted on similar charges this year and sentenced to 2-1/2 to 10 years in prison.

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Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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