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Judge agrees to delay modifying Orie Melvin's sentence — for now

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Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 2:21 p.m.

An Allegheny County judge on Thursday said he would consider an argument that he doesn't have the authority to change former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's sentence because it is being appealed to a higher court.

“This court does not have jurisdiction to do anything with the sentence,” Orie Melvin's attorney Patrick Casey told Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus.

Nauhaus disagreed, but said he would consider Casey's argument and reconvene Orie Melvin's sentence modification hearing Friday morning.

After a jury convicted Melvin of illegally using her public office and staff to campaign for the court, Nauhaus sentenced her to three years of house arrest and two years of probation.

He ordered her to work at a soup kitchen three days a week and write apology letters to state judges on the front of a picture of her in handcuffs.

A panel of Superior Court judges this month ruled Melvin, 57, of Marshall does not have to write the apology letter.

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