Apr 7, 2010

State Senator Jane Orie Officially Charged

Today Allegheny County District Attorney officially filed criminal charges against Republican Senator Jane Orie the state Senate Majority Whip. Senator Orie is accused of using state taxpayer funded resources including legislative staff to assist her sister's campaign for state Supreme Court.

Orie wrote a letter today to the Senate GOP leadership informing them that she was stepping down as Senate Majority Whip until she is exonerated.
In a letter today to Senate Republican leaders, Ms. Orie said she is temporarily stepping down as Senate GOP whip, the No. 3 post, "pending exoneration." She called charges against her "baseless."

According to the grand jury, at least 15 current or former staff members for Jane Orie testified that they either participated in, or observed non-legislative work being conducted during business hours. The directive to do political and campaign work, the presentment said, came from the senator, her chief of staff, Jamie Pavlot and Janine Orie. (Post-Gazette)

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Senator Orie's once promising political career is now in big jeopardy. It was not that long again when the state GOP party establishment led by Chairman Robert Gleason was meeting with Jane Orie desperately trying to convince her to run against Pat Toomey in this year's senate primary. Now it looks like Orie will be involved in a bitter court battle while trying to hold of a potential democratic challenger in the upcoming November election

The mighty seem to just keep falling in the wacky world of PA Politics. I wonder how much these charges implicates Jane Orie's sister state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin? If the charges stick, you have to begin to question how much did Justice Orie Melvin know about the illegal campaign activity being run by her sister that was assisting her own campaign for a spot on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This is going to get interesting folks!

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