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The Sisters Orie: Convicted!

| Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 3:45 p.m.

Pennsylvania continues, sadly and tragically, to live up to what surely soon will become its official moniker by default — State of Corruption. On Thursday, suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin became the umpteenth high-ranking state official to be convicted on public corruption charges.

We use the word “umpteenth” because we no longer can keep count of the crooks.

Mrs. Melvin was found guilty on six of seven counts, three of them felonies. Her sister, Janine Orie, the justice's former top aide, was convicted of six of six public corruption counts in the same trial in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. Another sister, Jane, the once-powerful state senator, is in prison for her public corruption convictions of nearly a year ago.

Thus, the Sisters Orie join a long line of state government “leaders” convicted of politicking on the public dime or other criminal activities. In their hubris of prosecuting their deceptions, sense of entitlement and power preservation, they thought nothing of abusing their public positions, the public purse and the public trust.

Worse, they smeared their accusers as persecutors. It's behavior beyond the pale. And it's behavior that deserves the maximum prison time prescribed by law.

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