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Former Chief Of Staff Testifies At Orie Retrial

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Testimony continued Thursday in the retrial of State Sen. Jane Orie.

KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports from court that Orie’s former chief of staff Jamie Pavlot was on the stand around noon.

Pavlot testified that the indictment of former legislator Jeff Habay on similar charges caused Orie to set up a campaign office across the street from her legislative office to give the appearance that campaign work was done there.

However, she went on to testify that the majority of the campaign work was still done in the legislative office.

Police surveillance pictures showed Pavlot removing boxes of campaign materials from Orie’s office on McKnight Road.

When asked why she did it, she said, “I was protecting my boss.”

She eventually turned over boxes of materials to law enforcement.

Pavlot also testified she was instructed by Orie to change records to make it appear staffers were doing campaign work on comp time after the work had already been done.

Pavlot also says she believed that Orie thought intern Jennifer Rioja was a plant and tried to hack her emails once she learned Rioja went to the DA.

On Wednesday, the jury heard from Rioja who said she resigned from her internship because she was uncomfortable hearing about campaign work in the office and then reported the activity to authorities.

The trial is expected to last three weeks. Judge Jeffrey Manning is considering having testimony on Saturday.

RELATED LINKS:
Retrial Begins For State Sen. Jane Orie (2/29/12)
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