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Top Pa. judge charged with campaign corruption
Pa. Supreme Court judge charged with campaign corruption in case that ensnared senator sister
By The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) ' A Pennsylvania Supreme Court judge has been charged with illegally using her state-funded staff to perform campaign work in a scheme that also ensnared her senator sister.

Justice Joan Orie Melvin didn't enter a plea at a Friday hearing. But she says she will vigorously defend herself against what she calls politically motivated charges.

Prosecutors say Orie Melvin illegally used her taxpayer-funded office for political purposes when she was a Superior Court judge campaigning for state Supreme Court.

A grand jury report says Melvin "actively condoned and even promoted" campaign-related activity by state-paid workers in a "tale of corruption" that involved her sister, state Sen. Jane Orie. Orie was convicted in March of 14 similar criminal counts.

The high court relieved Orie Melvin of her judicial and administrative duties Friday.

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