State Rep. Brandon Neuman today called on convicted Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin to resign following her conviction in a public corruption trial in Pittsburgh.
“Justice Orie Melvin should immediately step down from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court,” Neuman, D-North Strabane, said. “The jury has spoken and it’s in the public’s best interest to move forward with replacing Justice Orie Melvin on the bench.”
An Allegheny County jury convicted Orie Melvin on six counts for using her judicial staff and the Senate staff of her sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, to do work on her unsuccessful campaign for Supreme Court in 2003 and her successful run for the court in 2009.
Orie Melvin was suspended from the court when she was charged last May.
“We have been without a sitting justice on the state Supreme Court for long enough,” Neuman said.
Neuman said if Orie Melvin does not resign he is prepared to file a petition in the state House calling for the impeachment process to begin.
“The conviction of a Supreme Court justice for corruption requires immediate action.” Neuman said.
The last time the Legislature embarked on the impeachment process was in 1994 with Rolf Larsen, the last Pennsylvania justice to be convicted of a crime while in office, according to The Morning Call.
"Impeachment could embroil Harrisburg for months in an embarrassing spectacle. The Larsen impeachment resolution was introduced in May 1994. The Senate convicted him in October," the paper reported.