Ex-Pennsylvania justice Joan Orie Melvin files fed appeal

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice Joan Orie Melvin has filed a federal appeal of campaign corruption conviction and sentence.

Among other claims, Melvin argues she was wrongly prosecuted for violating work rules – not state laws – governing how and when state employees can do political work. She’s also contends being forced to write apologies to every other state judge as part of her sentence violated her right against self-incrimination.

Melvin resigned from office and was fined $55,000 and sentenced to three years’ house arrest after she was convicted of using her state-paid Superior Court staff to work on her Supreme Court campaigns. She ran unsuccessfully in 2003, but was elected to the state’s highest court in 2009.

The district attorney’s office says the issues Melvin raises have already been rejected in earlier appeals.

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