So now we have a “who done it,” in the corruption trial of Pennsylvania Senator Jan Orie. An Allegheny Judge on Thursday declared a mistrial after doctored documents tendered by Orie’s lawyer surfaced in court.
“Its deceitful, dishonest, despicable, and its a crime,” Judge Jeffrey A. Manning said. The judge siding with prosecutors that that signatures on Orie’s documents were either cut, pasted, or recast.
Judge Manning made no bones about it noting that a fraud has been committed.
“I did not alter, or create, or change any of these documents,” Orie testified.
Senator Orie, 49 and her sister Janine, 56, will return to court for a retrial in April. The pair is accused of ordering senate staffers do campaign work starting in 2001.
Now, in addition to that a criminal, investigation has, or will soon begin. “I think you ought to look into your own house for the culprit,” Judge Manning told defense attorney William Costopoulos.
John Burkoff, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I’ve never seen anything like this. I think it is incredible, and its shocking.” Remarking that to find examples of this one would only find it in movies.
A gag order remains in place that bars the Ories from commenting.
Senator Orie was employed as a prosecutor for the state attorney general’s office before she was elected to the state House, and the won a special Senate election in 2001, with subsequent re-elections coming in 2002, 2006, and 2010.
(To learn more about Senator Orie click on Rock The Capital.)
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