PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — She may be a felon convicted on six counts of public corruption, but Justice Joan Orie Melvin is still a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court — for now.
The chairman of the state House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts tells KDKA political editor Jon Delano he’s starting the impeachment process.
“We’ve drafted a resolution to at least authorize the subcommittee to initiate an investigation,” says Pa. Rep. Glen Grell, a Cumberland County Republican who chairs that subcommittee.
It’s an investigation that could lead to articles of impeachment against the justice.
In the meantime, a bi-partisan chorus of legislators called on Melvin to resign.
“We hope that she will resign, and that will be the best outcome for Pennsylvania,” says PA Rep. Brandon Neuman, a Canonsburg Democrat. “It would be the easiest outcome for Pennsylvania, and we could quickly move forward to replace her on the bench.”
NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s interview with Charlie Gerow:
Neuman, a member of the Judiciary Committee, says Melvin will be gone one way or the other, but she could drag out the process as former Justice Rolf Larsen did in the 1990′s when he was convicted of conspiracy involving prescription drugs.
Melvin also faces charges in the Court of Judicial Discipline, which does have the power to remove her.
“The Court of Judicial Discipline will have a separate trial geared to judicial conduct rather than the criminal code,” adds Neuman.
Melvin has 30 days to respond to charges brought there by the state’s Judicial Conduct Board.
NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s interview with Terry Madonna:
If the court does not remove Melvin — and it did not remove Larsen in 1994 — then the General Assembly can impeach and convict her. That took six months against Larsen.
“It could all be preempted by a resignation if that were to occur,” notes Grell.