No charges filed yet against Melvin |

No charges filed yet against Melvin

The Allegheny County grand jury investigating state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin met for more than five hours on Thursday but filed no charges.

Grand jurors trickled in about 9 a.m. at the District Attorney’s Office in the Dormont Municipal Building and left just after 2:30 p.m. They did not leave for lunch.

Legal experts not affiliated with the case said it’s possible the jury voted to recommend charging Melvin, 56, of Marshall, but that prosecutors likely would take a day or more before filing any charges.

The jury also could have decided not to recommend charges or could hear additional evidence before its two-year term expires at the end of the month, experts said.

Mike Manko, spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., declined to comment.

Melvin received formal notification that she was a target of the grand jury and a subpoena to appear before it in December. It’s unclear whether the grand jury heard from Melvin, a former Allegheny County judge who was elected to the high court in 2009.

A previous grand jury recommended charges against two of Melvin’s sisters — former Melvin aide Janine Orie, 57, and Republican state Sen. Jane Orie, 50, of McCandless — for using state staff for political work.

Melvin’s attorney, J. Alan Johnson, did not return a call for comment.

A jury in March convicted the senator of 14 charges, and she is expected to resign her seat by Monday. Janine Orie is awaiting trial.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.