House members ready resolution for impeachment proceedings


More than four dozen members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives have signed onto a resolution that could eventually lead to impeachment proceedings against convicted Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin.

The resolution, introduced earlier this week, would give the House Judiciary Committee the power to launch an investigation into Melvin's conduct and determine whether to impeach her.  The resolution’s sponsors include Rep. Glen Grell (R., Cumberland), the Judiciary Committee's chairman, and Rep. John Sabatina, Jr. of Philadelphia, the committee's ranking Democrat.

Melvin, a Republican, was convicted last month of theft of services, conspiracy and misappropriation of state property. An Allegheny County jury determined that Melvin conducted political activity on taxpayer time, and used public resources to help further Melvin's campaigns for the high court in 2003 and 2009.

Melvin is suspended without pay, and faced misconduct charges before the Court of Judicial Discipline.

Pennsylvania's last impeachment was in 1994, with then-Justice Rolf Larsen, who had been convicted of conspiracy for using his employees to purchase psychotropic medication for him. The state Senate held an impeachment trial, finding him guilty on one charge.



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