Former Sen. Orie’s attorney lists errors judge made in trial, sentencing
The lawyer representing former state Sen. Jane Orie said an Allegheny County judge made a dozen errors in the Marshall Republican’s public corruption and forgery trial and sentencing.
Attorney William Costopoulos filed a three-page document Monday in Superior Court supporting Orie’s appeal in which he detailed alleged errors by Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning. The arguments included the judge not permitting the defense to include evidence about the “long-standing political feud” between the Republican Orie family and the Democrat family of District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. Zappala has denied the prosecution was politically motivated.
Manning sentenced Orie, 51, of McCandless on June 4 to 2 1⁄2 to 10 years in prison after a jury found her guilty on 14 counts, including theft of services and conspiracy for using her legislative office for political gain. She is being housed in the state prison in Crawford County.
Orie’s sister, suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, 56, of Marshall and a third sister, Janine Orie, 58, of McCandless, are awaiting trial on charges they used Melvin’s former Superior Court staffers to run Melvin’s 2003 and 2009 campaigns for a Supreme Court seat.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or [email protected].