DA invokes Melvin to rebut sister Jane Orie appeal

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The district attorney is quoting former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin in his response to an appeal filed by her sister — former state Sen. Jane Orie.

In Wednesday’s filing, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala quotes Melvin as saying during her 2010 swearing in that the “court’s only armor is the cloak of public trust.”

Zappala quotes the justice in arguing that a trial judge was correct to declare a mistrial in 2011 when Jane Orie was first tried on charges she illegally used her state-paid staff to work on her own political campaigns and those of Melvin.

The mistrial was declared because some documents introduced by the senator turned out to be forgeries. Orie was convicted and imprisoned after a second trial last year — but only on charges relating to her campaigns.

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