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Former Sen. Jane Orie appeals jail sentence

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 12:19 a.m.

Former state Sen. Jane Orie is appealing the jail sentence imposed upon her by an Allegheny County judge this year.

Orie's attorney, William C. Costopoulos, filed the notice to appeal with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania on Monday. The two-page notice does not provide reasons for the appeal, and Costopoulos did not return calls for comment.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning sentenced Orie, 50, of McCandless to 2 12 to 10 years in jail on June 4 after a jury found her guilty on 14 counts, including theft of services, conflict of interest, ethics violations, tampering with evidence, forgery and conspiracy for using her legislative office for political gain. She is being housed at the state prison in Crawford County.

Orie's sister, suspended Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, 56, of Marshall, is awaiting trial on charges that she used her judicial staff to campaign for a spot on the state's high court in 2003 and 2009. Melvin will be tried with a third sister, Janine Orie, 58, of McCandless, a former judicial staffer who is accused of orchestrating the campaign work by other employees.

The Orie family has called the prosecution politically motivated, claims District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. has denied.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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