Jules Melograne

Tom Lehman uswa12 at lorainccc.edu
Mon Jun 22 20:00:57 PDT 1998

Dear Mr. Skiba, You don't know what your talking about.

In the early 1970's, when all but a few(3 or 4), district magistrates were removed for accepting gratuities---Jules Melograne was among the few not removed!

Jules grew up in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. If you know Pittsburgh that says it all.

The Gammage killing occured after Jules removal from office---and it did not occur in Jules district. But, Jules might have caught it if Gammage had lived to make it Downtown.

Also, of interest, Jules Melograne was the last attorney to be admitted to the Pennsylvania bar under the old method of reading the law. He read the law, took the bar exam and passed. The fact that he didn't go to a regular law school hurt his political career and chances for advancement. The local bar association never saw, in my opinion, Jules being "white" enough. Whats a poor kid going to do?

In struggle with the likes of you, Thomas Lehman

Edward E Skiba wrote:

> Thomas Lehman wrote:
> >Dear Doug and the Left Business Observers,
> >On the subject of youth, hormones, and the impact of an Asian crisis;
> >all I can say is that I was young once too.
> >
> >On June 17th an old political friend of mine, former district justice
> >for Allegheny County & Pittsburgh, Jules Melograne was sentenced to 27
> >months in Federal prision for fixing traffic tickets. Yes, that's
> >correct traffic tickets! Had Jules ever taken any money for fixing
> >hundreds of tickets between December of 1990 and July of 1993? No, he
> >had not.
> >Although, he did admit to having accepted one or two fruit baskets and
> >on one occassion he had let an errant handyman, plaster some cracks in
> >his courtroom.
> >
> >According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Olga Melograne asked for mercy
> >for her husband, who wept as he apologized in a brief statement to
> >U.S.District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose. "All my life I've helped people
> >out," Jules Melograne said.
> >
> >If I could sum Jules up in a word; that word would be tolerant. It's a
> >pretty sorry state of affairs when the Federal government puts a 70 year
> >old man away for helping common people out. Jules is not perfect; but
> >this is terrible!
> >
> >Does this mean, that in the eyes of the Federal Government, a local
> >district justice or magistrate has no discretion on how to handle minor
> >local matters like traffic tickets?
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >Thomas Lehman
> >
> I have been reading this list since volume #97 and while I don't
> always agree with everyone's pontifications, I do feel most LBO'ers are
> sincere and honest in attempting to understand the complex nature of our
> lives under Late Capitalism. That is, until I read the above post. I am a
> resident of the city of Pittsburgh and I followed this case in The
> Pittsburgh Post Gazette as it unfolded and IMHO the remarks of Mr. Lehman
> are total bullshit. This is not a case of a kindly white-haired judge
> fixing a few tickets but a textbook example of widespread and systematic
> judicial corruption which lasted many years. Mr. Lehman makes no mention of
> the many local District Justices who were brought down along with Melograne.
> It worked like this: Your 16-year old kid gets a traffic ticket. You call
> the local Magistrate. He remembers you because you donated to his election
> campaign. The Magistrate calls the Tipstaff at the courthouse downtown.
> The Tipstaff talks to Melograne and the fix is in! Is this not a clear
> example of the "Old Boy Network" in its purest form? It does not matter if
> money changed hands or not, although I am not sure it did not. Mr. Lehman
> does not mention that there were HUNDREDS of tickets fixed. Of these, how
> many Black people got their tickets fixed? Don't forget, this is the same
> courthouse where the Brentwood Police Officer who killed Jonny Gammage was
> aquitted.
> It matters not one whit if Melograne was a kindly, urbane gentleman
> with a heart of gold. So were many of the old Southern Plantation owners.
> What matters is the part he played in what amounted to a continuous criminal
> enterprise of corruption and cronyism which grew to such a magnitude as to
> become an embarassment to the local ruling class.
> You describe Melograne as "an old political friend". In Pittsburgh
> to have an "old political friend" means to be plugged into their network of
> relationships. Have you ever asked your buddy for any "favors"? I am very
> proud not to have any friends like Melograne. And I am very suspicious of
> people who apologize for the crimes of the Powerful.
> in struggle--ED

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