Federal magistrate recommends nixing Orie Melvin appeal

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 7, 2016 3:04 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

(Pittsburgh) -- A federal magistrate in Pittsburgh has recommended a judge reject former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice Joan Orie Melvin's appeal of her campaign corruption conviction and sentence.

The 47-page report issued Thursday rejects Melvin's claims that she was wrongly prosecuted for violating work rules _ not state laws _ for allegedly having her staff run her campaigns on state time.

The 60-year-old Republican from Pittsburgh's North Hills suburbs also argued that a sentence forcing her to write apologies on a picture of herself in handcuffs violated her right against self-incrimination.

Melvin's attorney, Patrick Casey, declined immediate comment.

Magistrate recommendations are sent to U.S. District Court judges, who rarely reject them. Melvin could ask the judge to do that, however, in what would essentially amount to a new appeal.

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