Channel 11 News reporter Alan Jennings has confirmed that Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie-Melvin will be indicted by an Allegheny County grand jury.
Orie-Melvin has been under investigation on suspicion of using paid staffers from the office of her sister, Pa. Sen. Jane Orie, to work on the judge's campaign.
Mike Manko, the Director of Communications for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, told Jennings that he cannot confirm nor deny the existence of a grand jury investigation involving Orie-Melivin.
State Sen. Jane Orie and her sister, Janine, were charged in April with using Jane Orie's legislative staff to conduct campaign business. Janine Orie was an aide to their sister, Orie-Melvin, while she was on the Superior Court and during the judge's two previous runs for the Supreme Court. Janine Orie is currently on paid suspension from that job.
After three days of testimony from former staffers, Allegheny County Judge Donna Jo McDaniel heard brief closing arguments and immediately ruled that Jane and Janine Orie were to stand trial on all charges.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. charged the Ories in April based on a 66-page grand jury presentment that said at least 15 current or former Orie staffers did -- or saw other staffers do -- campaign or fundraising work for Orie from 2001 through 2009, and on behalf of Orie-Melvin.
Orie-Melvin had not been charged at the time.
The Ories, all Republicans, have repeatedly denied wrongdoing and claim the Democratic prosecutor is politically motivated.