Campaign manager for Orie Melvin testifies
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The man who said he ran the election campaign of suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin in 2009 testified Monday that he wasn't aware of any campaign work happening in her judicial office and that he did not take his directives from her sister and co-defendant, Janine Orie.
Further, Michael Long said that whatever political work may have been occurring in the legislative offices of another sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, couldn't have been central to the campaign or he would have known about it.
Mr. Long, who was called as a defense witness, was on the stand for a few hours on the 12th day of trial on public corruption charges against Justice Orie Melvin and Janine Orie.
They are accused of using the staff and resources of the judge's Superior Court office, as well as the Senate staff of Jane Orie, to run both the unsuccessful 2003 race for the Supreme Court and the one in 2009, which Justice Orie Melvin won.
During cross-examination by Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus, Mr. Long was shown a number of emails that were either addressed or copied to him that came from Janine Orie.
"In the whole course of the campaign, emails from Janine were a very small portion of it," he said. "I wasn't directed by Janine to anything, ever."
During its case, the prosecution presented evidence that judicial staffers for Justice Orie Melvin were responsible for writing answers for political questionnaires submitted to her.
But Mr. Long testified on cross that he never asked for that to occur.
"If it was a political questionnaire, I wanted to answer," he said.
First Published February 12, 2013 12:00 am