Ruling delayed on pay for Melvin, awaiting trial
By Jeremy Boren
Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 8:28 p.m.
Updated: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline on Tuesday delayed ruling on whether Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin should continue receiving her salary while she fights criminal corruption charges.
The Harrisburg-based court enforces judicial ethics rules. President Judge Robert Curran said he will schedule a hearing to consider witness testimony and evidence in the case, though he noted that the court has the authority to suspend Melvin's salary without such a hearing.
Melvin, 56, a Marshall Republican, is paid $195,309 a year.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. charged Melvin on May 18 with illegally using her state Superior Court staff in 2003 and 2009 to perform campaign work. She has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, she could go to prison.
Separate charges in front of the Court of Judicial Discipline could cost Melvin her job.
Melvin's attorney in the disciplinary proceedings, William Arbuckle, did not return a message seeking comment.
Effective Saturday, eight members of Melvin's nine-person staff will be furloughed without pay. Her sister and longtime aide, Janine Orie, will be fired. The staffers are paid between $53,600 and $109,900 a year.
Orie, 58, of McCandless is scheduled for trial in August on charges that she did political work on state time. Her sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, was sentenced June 4 to 2 1/2 to 10 years in prison on similar corruption charges.
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With just the staff alone it sounds like the State will save at least 500k in salary alone not counting the Justice's salary. What should happen is when there are felony charges levied and the Justice is removed their pay should stop immediately also. If they are found not guilty then they should be given back pay. Why should the taxpayers pay for someone to sit on their A** working on their defense 200K a year plus benefits ? How many people in private sector are given this opportunity? NONE !! Public service (Government) jobs had low pay but extremely good benefits but now they are paid as much if not higher wages than the private sector and still have the exceptional benefits. Something is wrong with this picture. When the recession started and flowed for a few years most people were happy to have jobs let alone they took pay cuts to keep their jobs when Government jobs kept their raises and great benefits. I think the entire Government sector needs a complete overhaul and should start at the top with the Supreme Court and move on down.
Submitted by: John on Tuesday, June 12, 2012
In private industry, when suspended you recieve no pay, no work, no pay. Back pay if found not guilty. No reason to be differant in goverment Oh, I forgot, their the elite