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.