Ex-Orie staffer testifies she objected to doing election work on state time
A former staffer for state Sen. Jane Orie told an Allegheny County jury Monday that she objected to doing political work in the office after reading about the legislative Bonusgate scandal.
Audrey Mackie, 28, who worked for Orie from August 2006 to December 2009, testified on the 10th day of Orie's corruption trial that she did political work on state time for Orie, including making calls and keeping fundraiser databases.
"I said, 'I don't want to do this anymore. We could get in trouble,' " Mackie said she told Orie's former chief of staff, Jamie Pavlot. "I put two and two together, and kind of realized I was politicking on state time."
Prosecutors accuse Orie, 50, a McCandless Republican, of using her state-paid staff to campaign for her and her sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Orie maintains her innocence. Melvin, 55, of Marshall, is not charged but is under investigation.
Mackie said in one instance she created an election flyer featuring Melvin and other Republican-endorsed judicial candidates. As with many campaign-related flyers and letters, it stated "Not paid for at taxpayer expense" at the bottom.
"It's not true, because I did it during the day using Senate computers," Mackie said. She said she wasn't assigned political work after she complained.
On cross-examination by Orie's attorney, William Costopoulos, Mackie agreed that Orie's campaign paid for many materials used for election-related work, including paper and ink cartridges.
Another former staffer, Drew Miller, took the witness stand before court recessed for the day. The prosecution's case is expected to continue throughout the week.
Orie's first trial ended in a mistrial last March when a judge determined her defense introduced forged documents as evidence. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. later charged Orie with forgery.
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.
- Unusually cold winter, spring reduces population of Western Pa. stink bugs
- Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
- Pennsylvania allots $681M for cloud-based data storage
- Health system with patients in Mercer County victim of hackers
- Altered fireworks, chickens found in Interstate 79 crash in West Virginia
- LCB’s biggest store opening in Shadyside neighborhood