TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hearing delayed for indicted Pa. Supreme Court Justice Melvin

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 12:22 p.m.
 

An Allegheny County judge today granted a 30-day delay in the preliminary hearing for state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin but did not rule on a request that the entire county bench be recused from handling the case. Melvin, 56, a Marshall Republican, was scheduled to appear in Pittsburgh Municipal Court on Friday for a preliminary hearing on the nine pending criminal counts against her. Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning delayed the hearing until July 9. He did not rule on a request to appoint an out-of-county judge to hear the trial. He deferred ruling on that until the preliminary hearing is over. Melvin's new attorney, Patrick Casey, filed the requests Friday. Casey asked for a 60-day delay, saying that he has a planned family vacation to Dublin, Ireland, and will be out of the country from June 9 to June 24. Casey wrote that the Code of Judicial Conduct mandates recusal of the entire Allegheny County bench. He said Melvin, a county judge from 1990-1997, ran against two members of the bench in 1991 who serve in the criminal division - Judges Kathleen Durkin and David Cashman - and "personally served with a number of the judges who are currently seated on the Allegheny County bench, including many judges assigned to the criminal division." Casey also said that Common Pleas Judge Kevin G. Sasinoski may be called as a witness by the defense at the preliminary hearing. Sasinoski's wife, Lisa Sasinoski, was a former chief law clerk for Melvin and is key witness for the prosecution. The judge may be called as a witness "to testify concerning (his wife's) activities during the period in question and circumstances surrounding her separation from employment with Justice Orie Melvin," according to the filing. Lisa Sasinoski worked for Melvin until her unsuccessful 2003 bid for the Supreme Court. Lisa Sasinoski then left to work for Justice Max Baer, who beat Melvin in that race. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. charged Melvin last month - including with four felonies - based on allegations that she used her state-paid staff to do political work for her 2003 and 2009 election bids for the state's high court.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Controller to examine how much vehicles cost Allegheny County
  2. Diocese of Pittsburgh plans service in response to black mass
  3. Google grants teachers’ school supply wishes
  4. Coach accused in $2,400 theft from Baldwin Hockey Club
  5. Newsmaker: Sarah L. Carlins
  6. Latest flu vaccines offer protection from 4 influenza strains instead of traditional 3
  7. Backers of airport trade center look for more funding
  8. Identical twins born at West Penn Hospital a rare medical marvel
  9. Parents keep children home from Brookline schools over threats
  10. Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
  11. Pittsburgh Public evacuates 3 schools after voicemail threat
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.