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Secret Service document examiner says Same ink used on 2004-2007 documents

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

A document examiner testified today that notes Sen. Jane Orie claims to have written on documents from 2004 to 2007 were all written in the same ink.

'That`s typically a sign that they may have been added all at the same time later,' Joseph Stephens, a document examiner for the Secret Service, testified during the 13th day of Orie's trial on corruption charges.

A less likely conclusion would be that the same pen was used from 2004 to 2007, he said. He also testified that some handwritten notes were written in two different inks, indicating that either Orie switched pens or added something to the note later.

Stephens testified earlier that the signature on a 2010 document signed by Sen. Jane Orie's former chief of staff is the template used to forge signatures on three other documents, Stephens said.

Two of those documents are supposedly copies of a 2006 memo that one-time Orie Chief of Staff Jamie Pavlot sent to her former boss concerning the use of legislative staff for campaign purposes.

Stephens said the three other signatures are identical to Pavlot's valid signature on the 2010 document, which would be impossible if she had hand-signed the other documents.

Orie, 50, a McCandless Republican, is on trial on 26 charges from two cases. She is accused of directing her staff to do campaign work on state time. She is also accused of perjury and forgery related to several documents that purport to show Pavlot's signature. Orie's first case ended in a mistrial after Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning said the defense introduced forged documents as part of its case.

Orie denies the allegations and maintains her innocence.

Pavlot testified earlier today that she signed the 2010 document, which was a memo to Senate staff concerning her leave in 2009, but never signed the other documents.

William Costopoulus, Orie's attorney, said during his cross-examination of Stephens that he doesn't dispute the signatures were forged. Stephens agreed with Costopoulus that he doesn't know how the signatures were forged.

In opening statements, Costopoulus told juries that no evidence links his client to the forgeries.

The prosecution this morning also called Shawn Eyster, information technology director for the Senate, who testified that computer data associated with one document found in Orie's computer system shows that she modified the document.

Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus said right before the afternoon break that the prosecution is ready to rest its case. Costopoulus said he`s ready to start the defense`s case.

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