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If you missed it this weekend, more charges were filed against Janine Orie (“Janine”) — sister of Justice Joan Orie Melvin (“Joan”) and Representative Jane Orie (“Jane”).  Janine surrendered to a magistrate on Friday and has been released on her own recognizance.  [Post-Gazette]

So far,  the D.A.’s office won’t comment on whether charges will be filed against Joan.  But the evidence against her is pretty damning. Here’s a summary of juicy tidbits from various media outlets:

  • The grand jury presentment strongly suggests that Joan’s office knew about and/or ordered court staff to do illegal campaign work.  Superior Court clerk Lisa Sasinoski, who was fired by Joan, testified that Janine Orie left notes instructing the court staff to do illegal campaign work and that Janine would sign the notes “Joan” or “Judge.”   [Republic]
  • Joan ordered clerks to work on getting her an endorsement from the American Trial Lawyers Association.  Janine sent court staffers to three polling places to campaign for Joan.  A week before the 2003 election, Janine ordered Sasinoski to use Joan’s expense vouchers to fabricate expense records for Jane to get cash to be used as “street money.”  What a tangled web!  [Trib]
  • John Deneger, Joan’s current (!) clerk, testified that Janine Orie directed him to do political work for her sister in 2003, and she directed him to transfer campaign-related files off the judicial computer network in 2005 or 2006.  [PG Early Returns]
  • And, my personal favorite: The grand jury found that Joan handwrote the comment “Are you above this” on some campaign-related documents a staffer refused to complete in 2009.  [Essential Public Radio]

The Post-Gazette has helpfully posted the complaint and grand jury findings.

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