PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — A key witness testified at the corruption trial of State Sen. Jane Orie on Friday.
Jennifer Knapp-Rioja is the legislative intern who launched the investigation.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports that Knapp Rioja testified that she began to notice campaign work in the legislative office and became uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that she resigned her internship and contacted authorities.
Knapp Rioja says she had first contacted the State Department of Elections and the State Attorney General’s Office before contacting Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala about what she perceived to be “illegal” campaign activity being done by Orie’s staff for her sister, then Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin.
Knapp Rioja testified that she saw campaign checks being processed, and that another intern had been doing campaign research for Melvin in the late summer and fall of 2009.