Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille is expressing concern that the prosecutions of the sisters of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin might further tarnish the reputation of Pennsylvania’s judicial system. It’s sort of like saying the buzzing of another fly is going to somehow make less pleasant the stink of a rotting skunk.
The irony is that the only hope of bringing some kind of respect to that corrupt institution lies with people like Justice Melvin, who was elected to the bench last November against the wishes to the powers-that-be of places like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Luzerne County,
The Orie sisters– state Sen. Jane (R-40) and Janine, who was an aide to Justice Melvin until she was suspended when the charges were filed — are accused of doing things like using Sen. Orie’s office copier for Justice Melvin’s election campaign.
The man filing the charges against Jane and Janine is Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala. Zappala is the son of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr. who became an employee of the Pennsylvania Casino Association after he left the bench.
Sen. Orie — ironically? — is a big critic of casino gambling.
Justice Castille in his concern about the Pennsylvania judicial system’s reputation cited the Luzerne County youth court scandal in which hundreds of youngsters were sent to Western PA Child Care, which is a juvenile detention facility, for often minor offenses such as fighting on the school bus. In return, county judges allegedly received kickbacks from the center’s operators.
In another bit of irony, Western PA Child Care is owned by Greg Zappala who is D.A. Zappala’s brother. The business address for Western PA Child Care was the home of former Chief Justice Zappala.