The preliminary hearing for state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin on campaign corruption charges has been postponed until June 8th.
Melvin was charged May 18th with illegally using her taxpayer-funded staff in her 2003 and 2009 campaigns for a seat on the state's highest court. She had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing on felony theft of services and other charges on Friday. The postponement was not unexpected because her attorney said last week he planned to ask for one.
The Republican justice from Pittsburgh's North Hills suburbs has pleaded not guilty and contends the charges are politically motivated. Democrat Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. denies that.
Melvin's sister, Jane Orie, resigned as a state senator and is awaiting sentencing June 4th on her conviction for similarly misusing her legislative staff.