Heyl: Plain, Jane? You're not the victim
Good for Jane Orie. The former state senator appears to have embarked on a post-prison career at which she seems capable of excelling.
But can she earn a respectable living being a permanent self-perceived victim?
I don't mean to rain on the McCandless Republican's probationary parade that began in February when she marched away from the State Correctional Institution at Cambridge Springs sans baton. But at 52, it's unlikely she can support herself until retirement merely by playing the casualty of conspiratorial circumstances.
Orie did just that in an interview that WTAE-TV that aired on Monday. Her first public comments since her release were devoid of contrition for the conviction on corruption charges that put her behind bars for 20 months.
Instead, an oft-teary Orie continued to assert her innocence. Although not mentioning names, she again insinuated her jail time was the result of a political vendetta against her by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. and his family.
“I think politics is a dirty, dirty sport,” said Orie, who appeared to enjoy her 15 years in the muck until her forced resignation. “When you take stances that are not consistent with that good-old-boys network, you get a target on your back.”
Unfortunately for Orie, those comments are better suited for a different part of the space-time continuum than she occupies. The victim card was easier to play before jurors convicted her of 14 charges that included using state-paid staff to perform campaign work and forging documents.
Even if political foes initially targeted Orie, it's safe to assume no member of the good-old-boys network that she's quick to blame for her woes was on the jury. Her attorneys wouldn't have allowed any of them to be seated.
A telling moment in the interview occurred when the reporter asked Orie whether she used her Senate staff to perform campaign work on behalf of her or her sister, former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. (Melvin was convicted a year ago of using her Superior Court staff and her sister's staff in two campaigns for Supreme Court.)
Looking as though someone had just snatched her purse, Orie responded: “I was found not guilty of doing anything on my sister's (behalf) ... That's the irony of this.”
She didn't directly address whether she used her campaign staff to aid her campaign. Most likely that's because the jury decided two years ago that she did.
Discussing her future — besides reporting to a probation officer for the next decade — Orie vowed: “I'll do everything I can to fight to restore the name my mom and dad earned.”
It's sad. The self-perceived victim is pledging to climb into the boxing ring, oblivious to the knockout punch delivered against her long ago.
Sadder still, she inflicted the blow.
Eric Heyl is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7857 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.
- Steelers rookie says Sam, his former roommate, has changed
- Fire victim’s ex-boyfriend jumps from Tarentum Bridge
- Minister quick to share time, talents, love
- Rossi: Buying trust is a must for Pirates
- Steelers aim to create more turnovers this year with speedier defense
- Coke plant workers exposed to chemical
- Letters won’t be used as evidence in North Union man’s homicide trial
- Latrobe woman charged in deadly standoff claims coercion
- Ex-cop from Irwin gets jail for drug sales while posing as officer
- Separate trials sought in fatal Murrysville DUI
- Two cars strike horse near Fayette fair