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Pa. Justice’s Assistant, Her Sister, Is Suspended in Campaign Probe

Posted Apr 13, 2010 6:42 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice’s assistant, who is also her sister, has been suspended after prosecutors charged her with campaign-related violations.

Janine Orie, the chief administrative judicial assistant for Justice Joan Orie Melvin, has been accused of ordering staff for another sister who is a state senator to do political work on state time, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Janine Orie has been charged with two counts of theft of services, the story says. The sister who is a legislator, Jane Orie, is accused of theft, evidence tampering and conspiracy, according to the story.

Melvin, who was elected to the state high court in November, has not been charged. However, the Tribune-Review and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cite grand jury findings that allege some of the campaign work done at the behest of Janine and Jane Orie helped Melvin’s campaign.

Jane Orie, who was Senate GOP whip, said at her arraignment that the charges were filed because of her opposition to expanded casino gambling, the Post-Gazette reports. A brother, Jack Orie, who represented Jane and Janine Orie at arraignment, said the charges were like a “Mafia hit.”

Hat tip How Appealing.

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