The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline will decide next month whether Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin will be paid while she defends herself against criminal corruption charges, officials said on Tuesday.
Court officials scheduled a hearing on June 12 to determine whether she will continue to receive her salary of $195,309 a year and to consider any objections to her suspension from the court. Melvin has 30 days to respond to a complaint the board filed on Friday based on the charges she faces.
William Arbuckle, Melvin’s lawyer, said she should continue to be paid.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. charged Melvin, 56, of Marshall on Friday with nine criminal counts — including 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.
Arbuckle repeated Melvin’s belief that the charges are politically motivated, an accusation Zappala denies.
Melvin’s preliminary hearing was postponed yesterday until June 8. Zappala’s office opposed Melvin’s request for a 60-day delay. Her hearing had been set for Friday.
Melvin has agreed to step away from her judicial duties. She has said she will not resign.