Joan Orie Melvin faces violation hearing

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Former state Supreme Court justice Joan Orie Melvin will appear in court on Tuesday for a probation violation hearing.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus will conduct the hearing because Orie Melvin has not yet fulfilled one of the requirements of her sentence -- writing notes of apology on a photograph of herself in handcuffs to other jurists across Pennsylvania.

Orie Melvin, who believes that sending the apologies would violate her right against self-incrimination, obtained a temporary stay on that part of the sentence last week from the state Superior Court.

The district attorney's office this week submitted a brief to the appellate court saying that if Melvin is not made to write the apology letters that she should be resentenced, leaving the door open for Judge Nauhaus to instead sentence her to incarceration.

She was ordered to spend three years on house arrest when she was sentenced in May for theft of services and conspiracy. Orie Melvin was convicted of using both her judicial staff and the legislative staff of her sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, to run campaigns for the Supreme Court in 2006 and 2009.


First Published October 11, 2013 8:00 PM


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