DA responds to Orie Melvin's Supreme Court appeal

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Joan Orie-Melvin
PITTSBURGH (AP) (AP)ong> - Prosecutors said suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin is trying to shroud her alleged campaign corruption crimes with her black robe.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office on Thursday filed an answer to Melvin's king's bench appeal to the Supreme Court, in which she asks her six fellow justices to throw out the charges against her.

Melvin is claiming that prosecuting her for allegedly misusing her judicial employees violates the constitutional separation of powers.

But Thursday's response argued, "A black robe is not authority to stick one's hand into the public coffer for private gain."

Melvin is scheduled for trial later this month on charges she used her state-paid Superior Court staffers to illegally campaign for a seat on the high court in 2003 and again in 2009, when she was elected to the state's highest court.