Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, who was recently convicted on six criminal charges, has dropped her appeal and released drafts of apology letters she was ordered to write to other state judges.
Below is the text of the apology letter:
To the Members of the Pennsylvania Judiciary:
I was accused of misusing my office to assist in my campaigns for Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009. I plead not guilty. I was afforded a trial and I was found guilty. I have now exhausted my direct appeal rights. As a matter of law, I am guilty of these offenses.
As a condition of my sentence, the judge ordered that I write letters of apology to every member of the Pennsylvania judiciary and to my former staff members. This has been a humiliating experience. It has likewise brought unfathomable distress to my family.
In reflection, I wish I had been more diligent in my supervision of my staff and that I had given them more careful instructions with respect to the prohibition on political activity set forth in the Supreme Court’s Order dated November 24, 1998.
I know all of you take pride in the Pennsylvania judiciary and that the publicity of my case has had an impact on the public’s perception of the judiciary. I apologize to you for any difficulty it has imposed upon your discharge of your responsibilities as a judge.
I hope that my case will serve as a cautionary tale to all of you.
Joan Orie Melvin