Ex-state Supreme Court Justice Melvin's daughter gets 1st-time offender program in fraud case

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PITTSBURGH — The daughter of convicted former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin on Friday entered a program designed for first-time offenders on an insurance fraud charge.

Casey Melvin, 26, of Wexford, entered the program before an Allegheny County judge. Melvin did not have to enter a guilty plea. Instead, the charges will be dropped if she successfully completes one year on probation and 100 hours of community service. She can then petition the court to have her arrest record expunged.

Melvin didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.

Melvin is the daughter of Joan Orie Melvin, 58, who resigned from office last year and recently had her conviction and most of her sentence on campaign corruption charges upheld by the state Superior Court. The court overturned a portion of Orie Melvin's sentence requiring her to send autographed pictures of herself in handcuffs, apologizing to every other judge in the state, but otherwise left her conviction and sentence unchanged.

Casey Melvin was charged last year with filing a false or fraudulent insurance claim.

She allegedly tried to file the claim after crashing into a utility pole on March 29, 2012 even though her auto policy had expired the day before. She paid $502 to have her coverage reinstated the day after the crash and then allegedly claimed that the crash occurred that day when she eventually filed the claim, according to the Allegheny County district attorney's office.

Orie Melvin and her sister and former aide, Janine Orie, were convicted and sentenced to house arrest for misusing Orie Melvin's own state-paid Superior Court staffers on her 2003 and 2009 campaigns for the state Supreme Court, as well as staffers of a third sister, former Sen. Jane Orie. Orie Melvin lost the 2003 election, but won a seat on the state's highest court in 2009, only to have her family investigated for the campaign corruption allegations almost immediately upon taking office.

Jane Orie, the former senator, was released from prison in February after serving 75 percent of her 2 1/2-year minimum sentence for misusing her state-paid staff for her own campaigns and other charges. She was also tried, but acquitted, of having her staff campaign for Orie Melvin.

Jane Orie was convicted on March 26, 2012 — three days before Casey Melvin's crash — which Casey Melvin mentioned to an insurance employee, according to an excerpt of the conversation included in a criminal complaint.

Melvin, in the recorded call from the crash scene, told the insurance agent that she had forgotten to pay her premium because of that trial.

"My family is going through, um, there's a public trial and I just was so out of it with everything going on ... so we've been going through a lot," Melvin said.

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