Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Resigns Following Fraud Conviction

Posted On Tuesday, March 26, 2013
By: John A. Schwab

Just over a month after conviction for misuse of state employees, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin submitted a letter of resignation to Governor Tom Corbett.  In the one-page resignation letter, the suspended Supreme Court Justice tendered her resignation to be effective on May 1, 2013.  The letter reviewed her various successes over 30 years while serving as a judge on the Pittsburgh Domestic Violence Court, Pennsylvania Superior Court, and Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of this Commonwealth for the past 28 years.  I am deeply saddened that I am not able to fulfill my commission,”  her letter stated.  She also noted that she intends to appeal the jury verdict against her but “[i]n the meantime, however, the citizens of Pennsylvania deserve a fully-staffed Supreme Court. 

In February 2013, Orie Melvin and her sister, Janine Orie, were convicted of using Orie Melvin’s staff, all of whom were state-paid employees, for political and fundraising purposes during her 2003 and 2009 election campaigns for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Orie-Melvin was a judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 2003 and 2009 and, although she lost the 2003 Pennsylvania Supreme Court election, she was elected to the highest court in 2009.  A third sister, former Pennsylvania State Senator, Jane Orie, is presently serving 2½ to 10 years for similar crimes – use of state employees for political fundraising and campaigning – following her conviction in March 2012. 

The full text of Joan Orie-Melvin’s resignation letter can be found here