By: Harold Hayes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –- State Sen. Jane Orie’s trial continued in downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday.

Star witness Jamie Pavlot, the senator’s former chief of staff, testified that she removed campaign files from the legislative office shortly after an intern resigned.

The intern allegedly threatened to go to investigators with information about campaign work being done on state time.

Prosecutors also showed the jury surveillance pictures of boxes being removed from the McKnight Road office.

Pavlot said she felt uncomfortable sending a letter to Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and others, claiming that no campaign work was done on state time when she knew that was not true.

The senator directed the letter to be sent since Jennifer Knapp-Rioja was an intern from Pitt. Pavlot is expected to be the final prosecution witness.

This afternoon, Allegheny County Republican chair Jim Roddey took the stand as a defense witness.

He testified out of turn because he will be out of town. The prosecution has not yet rested its case.

Roddey testified that most legislators use volunteers for fundraising and do not hire professional fundraisers, which is a point the defense wanted to make.

But when cross-examined by the prosecutor he was asked, “Would you ever use your county executive staff to do political work while you were executive?”

“No,” replied Roddey.

“Why not?” asked the prosecutor.

“Because it’s the law,” he replied.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.


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