Share This Page

5 men, 7 women selected as jurors for Jane Orie retrial

Opening statements in the retrial of state Sen. Jane Orie are set for Wednesday after lawyers in the case completed jury selection in one day.

Attorneys interviewed 94 potential jurors on Monday, before settling on five men and seven women in the panel and four alternates who will decide the fate of the McCandless Republican.

Orie's jury includes a Heinz Field usher from Avalon, a steamfitter from Brookline who works for Pittsburgh Public Schools, a physical therapist from Whitehall, a nurse from Bellevue, a researcher for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and a nursing student from Highland Park.

Orie, 50, faces 26 corruption-related charges stemming from two cases. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. charged Orie in April 2010 with using her taxpayer-funded staff to do campaign work. Zappala filed similar charges against her sister Janine Orie, 57, of McCandless.

Janine Orie worked as an aide to another sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Melvin, 55, of Marshall has not been charged with wrongdoing.

The first trial for Jane and Janine Orie ended in a mistrial in March after Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning found the defense had introduced forged documents as evidence. Prosecutors filed additional charges against the senator in August related to the forged documents. The judge earlier this month split the sisters' trials. A date has not been selected for Janine Orie's retrial.

A woman from Turtle Creek told the judge and the attorneys that she couldn't be a fair juror "because I feel (Orie) is innocent."

"I think she's perfect," said Orie's attorney, William Costopoulos, laughing. Manning dismissed the woman.

A man told the attorneys, "I've heard about the case. I have a problem with politicians. I haven't met one I believe I can trust." The judge dismissed him.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.