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UPDATE: Judge Sentences Former State Sen. Jane Orie to Prison

The ex-state senator was convicted in March of using state-funded staff for political work.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning sentenced former state Sen. Jane Orie to between two-and-a-half and 10 years in prison on corruption charges, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Orie made no statement and was immediately taken into custody after today’s sentencing hearing in Downtown Pittsburgh, according to the Post-Gazette. 

Restitution will be decided within 30 days based on legal briefs not yet submitted, the Post-Gazette reported.

Manning told Orie that one of the most solemn oaths she took as an attorney was to "use no falsehood," KDKA reported.

He said forgery and tampering with evidence introduced by her in a judicial proceeding cannot be a more "flagrant and disgraceful" violation of that oath, according to KDKA.

Orie, 50, was convicted in March of five felony counts involving theft of service and conflict of interest for using her staff to perform political fundraising and campaign work and nine related misdemeanors.

The Republican lawmaker from the 40th District seat, which includes Pine, Richland and Ross townships in Allegheny County and the Cranberry area in Butler County.

The district attorney’s office asked Manning to order Orie to pay $780,000 in damages related to her conviction.

The money is in addition to the $1.2 million prosecutors want Orie to repay to the Pennsylvania Senate for defending the case. The prosecution is also asking Orie to forfeit $200,000 from her campaign finance account and her pension. 

According to court filings, Orie's attorney William Costopoulos said the former senator’s restitution should be $25,000 and that Orie should not be responsible for caucus legal bills.

 

Do you think this is the right sentence for Orie? Tell us in the comments.

 

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James Dale Barrington June 04, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I have different political interest then Orie, and therefore would have never voted for her. However, her sentence is way out of line. She broke trust with the people she served, true, so give her two years of community service and a fine of $25,000 to $50,000 dollars. She should not be responsible for caucus legal bills. I agree with her attorney, William Costopoulos. Penalizing her with damages for defending the case and forfeiting funds from her pension is all a political dance we have seen and know, too, well. It's become a disease with us. We are too inclined to lock people up for non-violent crimes. Put them to work and use their gifts/strengths to do good things we all believe in, otherwise, what a waste.
Susan M. June 04, 2012 at 08:51 PM
This sentence is ridiculous! I do not condone fraud and corruption (which is EVERYWHERE), but COME ON! I think they came down hard on her because she is a Republican!....shame, shame...
Kelly Burgess June 04, 2012 at 11:42 PM
I agree with the previous comments and I am a devoted Democrat. Jail time is ludicrous for this offense. Make her do community service, make restitution, whatever, but jail is overkill.
another PR mom June 05, 2012 at 04:28 PM
The real reason that she is going to jail is NOT the crime of using taxpayers dollars for political work.. It was falsifying documents that was the real problem and the reason she got that sentence. I personally think that she deserves it for that. I was shocked that she even tried to do that being a lawyer herself and quite aware of the penalities of falsifyiing documents-particularly for a trial like this.

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