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State Supreme Court Justice Convicted On Charges Of Using Taxpayer Resources For Campaign

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(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (CBS) — A jury in Pittsburgh has convicted a state Supreme Court justice on charges of using taxpayer resources for campaign work.

State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister, Janine Orie, were convicted of theft of services and conspiracy for allegedly using Melvin’s judicial staff – and legislative staffers of another sister, former Republican state Senator Jane Orie – to campaign for Melvin. Jane Orie was convicted last year. The jury foreman in this trial, Matt Mabon, says the strongest evidence was against Janine Orie.

“There was a lot more evidence – a lot more e-mails of Janine Orie directing people what to do. That’s why Janine was the quicker of the two. And we went back to the justice and started over on the justice to see what she had against her,” Mabon explains.

Joan Orie Melvin has been suspended from the state high court without pay since August of 2012 as the case against her proceeded.

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