Mellow, 69, a longtime Democratic floor leader who retired in 2010, was fined as part of a consent agreement settling allegations that he had violated the state ethics law ban on public officials using their office for the financial gain of themselves, immediate relatives or a family-related business.
Mellow's then-wife held a 50-percent share in Brad Inc., whose only initial asset was the Peckville building that housed his district office, and the couple had a continuing relationship in the company from its incorporation in December 2000 to Sept. 2008, when it was sold for $350,000, the commission said. Mellow received $130,000 of the proceeds from that sale, it said.
During that period, the Senate paid Brad Inc. more than $218,000 in rent, the commission said. Brad also rented space in the building to other tenants, including Mellow's campaign committee.
Meanwhile, a plea hearing for Mellow in U.S. District Court in Scranton was postponed. He had been slated to plead guilty Friday in a corruption case in which he's accused of misusing public resources for political purposes. The hearing was postponed Thursday and no new date was immediately set.
Mellow is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and to filing a false 2008 income tax return. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, according to his plea agreement.
Commission director John Contino says the fine by the ethics panel represents roughly half of the rent paid on Mellow's district office since May 2007, when he assumed his wife's share of the company in a divorce and continued to collect the state payments while trying to sell the property.
Mellow's earlier activities involving his district office were shielded from commission action by a five-year statute of limitations, Contino said.
Mellow's lawyer did not return a telephone message seeking comment.