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State Supreme Court suspends Joan Orie Melvin's law license

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Thursday, June 13, 2013, 4:18 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily suspended the law license of former Justice Joan Orie Melvin based on her February conviction on public corruption charges.

Allegheny County Judge Lester G. Nauhaus sentenced Melvin, 57, of Marshall last month to three years of house arrest followed by two years of probation and ordered her to pay $128,000 in fines, restitution and court costs after a jury found Melvin guilty of six counts, including three felonies, for using her Superior Court staff to campaign for a seat on the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009.

The Supreme Court suspended Melvin's license based on Rule 214, which applies to attorneys convicted of crimes. The rule says Melvin may petition the court to review its order and request a hearing on the matter within 10 days. Melvin, who officially resigned her seat on the bench on May 1, is appealing her conviction.

Melvin's attorneys did not return calls for comment. Mike Manko, a spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., declined comment.

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