Orie maintains innocence, 'unequivocally' denies forging records
Former state Sen. Jane Orie broke her public silence by telling a reporter she is innocent of the corruption charges that sent her to prison.
Orie, 52, a McCandless Republican, gave an interview to WTAE-TV that aired Monday. Orie has turned down numerous interview requests from the Tribune-Review.
Orie specifically addressed forgery charges that prompted a mistrial in her first case and resulted in forgery convictions in a second trial.
“One of the forgeries was called so blatant a forgery that Ray Charles, a dead blind man, could see,” Orie said. “Unequivocally no, I didn't commit those forgeries. Whoever did those forgeries either did it because they thought they were helping me, or the more scarier thought is they did it to really hurt me.”
State prison officials released Orie on Feb. 9 once she served about 75 percent of her 2½- to 10-year prison sentence for using her state-paid staff for campaign work and other charges.
“I think politics is a dirty, dirty sport ... and when you take stances that are not consistent with that good old boy network, you get a target on your back,” Orie said.
An Allegheny County jury convicted Orie of 14 charges stemming from allegations she used her staffers to help churn out political campaign victories and knowingly introduced forged documents in her first trial.
“A jury spoke to this matter following a thorough and very public airing of the evidence. Since that time, state Superior Court summarily dismissed any claims to the contrary,” said Mike Manko, spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. “To publish this defendant's misstatements of the evidence in this case at this time is offensive to the jury process.”
Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning sentenced her in June 2012. She was paroled under an early-release program for nonviolent, first-time offenders who show good behavior. The parole board cited her motivation for success and positive behavior in granting her release.
Orie said her fellow inmates called her “senator.”
Her sister, former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, 58, of Marshall, was convicted a year ago of six counts for using her Superior Court staff and the legislative staff of the senator to run campaigns for Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009. That jury found another sister and Melvin's former administrative assistant, Janine Orie, 59, of McCandless guilty on six counts. Neither got prison sentences.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- More witness intimidation charges are filed against Plum teacher
- 80 percent of drivers found exceeding speed limit in Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park
- South Side zoning clashes with parking: Workers hurt
- Wet weather puts Three Rivers Regatta events in jeopardy
- Duquesne man arrested again for Megan’s Law violations
- American Airlines manager arrested in Pittsburgh on sex crimes charges
- Newsmaker: Dr. J. Anthony Graves
- 5 teens injured in East Liberty crash while eluding police
- Three arrested after drugs found in O’Hara traffic stop
- Pittsburgh capital plans shift to repairs to police, fire, paramedic stations
- Run-down duplex that Dormont helped to rehab not on the market long