Orie Found Guilty On 14 Of 24 Counts
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jurors have found State Sen. Jane Orie guilty on 14 of 24 counts, including two counts of theft of services, conspiracy and forgery.
She was found not guilty of perjury. Orie said nothing to reporters as she left the courtroom.
“They deliberated over it and I’m not criticizing the jury in any way,” Bill Costopoulos, Orie’s defense attorney, said. “I can tell you that we’re disappointed and there’s no positive spin I can put on it.”
“That having been said, the appellate process will be pursued,” he continued.
“It has been a very difficult, stressful, ordeal for the senator, for her family. I care about her. I have no intentions of walking away from her.”
In all, Orie was found guilty of two counts each of theft of services, conflict of interest, and forgery, in addition to seven counts of tampering with evidence and one count of criminal conspiracy.
“No one likes to do what we did, but that’s the way our system works and we are proud to be a part of that,” the jury foreman told KDKA-TV.
Orie was acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice.
She spent days on the witness stand defending herself and the jury foreman said that was a blessing and a curse.
“It was to me believable, reasonable,” he said. “There were moments where I was struggling with some of the truthfulness we were hearing.”
Orie is on house arrest facing the possibility of jail time.
“If there is an abuse of the public trust, there is a mechanism and that mechanism is investigation and prosecution and ultimately as it occurred in this case, a conviction,” Prosecutor Lawrence Claus said.
Stephen Stallings, the lawyer for Jamie Pavlot, the former chief of staff whose signatures were doctored, said his client was relieved.
“Her character has been maligned,” he said. “Her integrity has been impugned. Her signatures have been forged and now with the verdict the jury rendered today I think she’s been vindicated.”
Orie will be sentenced on May 21, 2012.