Former state Sen. Jane Orie appeals sentence in public corruption case

By Jon Campisi | Sep 13, 2012

The sister of suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin has

appealed her sentence from earlier this summer relating to her public corruption conviction.

Former state Sen. Jane Orie, who was convicted of illegally using her legislative staff for campaign work and subsequently forging documents to cover up her crimes, filed her appeal with the Pennsylvania Superior Court on Sept. 10.

The appeal was filed by Lemoyne, Pa. attorney William C. Costopoulos and Seven Fields, Pa. lawyer Ann Lund Schiavone.

Orie was convicted this past spring of five felony and nine misdemeanor counts, including theft, ethics violations, conspiracy, forgery and tampering with evidence, according to local news reports.

Following her trial, Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffery Manning sentenced the former legislator to 2-1/2 to 10 years in state prison.

Jane Orie isn’t the only one in her western Pennsylvania politically active family who has landed herself in hot water.

Justice Joan Orie Melvin is currently suspended from the high court without pay following criminal charges that were leveled against her by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office over claims that the jurist used her former Superior Court staff to work on her campaign for a seat on the state Supreme Court.

Orie Melvin, who eventually succeeded in being elected to the bench, is charged with similar crimes as that of her sister, who had been a state senator for more than a decade prior to her criminal conviction.

The suspended justice was originally charged with nine criminal counts, but two were dismissed by a magisterial district judge during Orie Melvin’s preliminary hearing.

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