3 Pennsylvania political sisters convicted of corruption

Feb 23, 2013 - by - 0 Comments

Feb. 23, 2013 USA Today

PITTSBURGH  — The story has more irony than a Greek tragedy. Three sisters from a devout Catholic family have seen their personal and political careers ruined by a scandal that began with, of all things, a letter to some nuns.

Thursday's conviction of suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin along with her aide and sister, Janine Orie, on campaign corruption charges mean they might join a third sister — former state senator Jane Orie — in state prison. No sentencing date has been set.

The former senator was sentenced last year to 2½ to 10 years for using her state-paid staff to run her campaigns, though she was acquitted of having them campaign for Melvin, then a lower appellate court judge, who was running for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009. Joan Orie Melvin and Janine Orie were convicted in a spinoff investigation and found guilty of similarly misusing Melvin's former staff and the senator's.

Even before the convictions, their careers — and the family from which they sprang — were extraordinary.

Dr. John Orie, now 90, and his late wife, Jean, raised nine children including five attorneys, Joan and Jane among them; two cardiologists; a teacher; and a human resources manager, Janine, who worked for her sister Joan Orie Melvin in the lower Superior Court before moving up with her to the Supreme Court.

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