PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The prosecution began cross-examining State Sen. Jane Orie in her corruption trial.

So far, the questioning has focused on her employees doing campaign work on state time.

Prosecutor: “Would you agree that 24 staff members testified they did political work on state time?”

Orie: “I would strongly disagree that any of that was done to my knowledge on state time.”

Prosecutor: “What did you mean by the notation, ‘We need to begin finding one,’ regarding a separate campaign office?”

Orie: “I’m telling them to get ready because a campaign is underway.”

On Tuesday, Orie denied any knowledge of how forged documents became part of the evidence in her first trial.

“Did you have anything to do with putting that signature on that document by way of cut and paste, photocopy or otherwise?” her attorney asked.

Orie replied, “Absolutely not.”

Orie is being re-tried on charges that she illegally used her state-funded staff to do campaign work.

Before she took the stand on Monday, Cyril Wecht, the last of her character witnesses, testified on her behalf.

He was instructed by the judge not to go into his feud with District Attorney Stephen Zappala.

Wecht did not bring it up in front of the jury, but talked about it to reporters. He has been critical of the prosecution of the case, calling it politically motivated.


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