PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Opening statements were given in the retrial for State Sen. Jane Orie that began Wednesday morning.

Prosecutor Lawrence Claus told the jury that there are scans which will be presented as evidence that suggest fabrication and manipulation in the production of alleged forged documents in the first trial of Sen. Orie.

The prosecutor said the senator, “literally used and abused her staff by diverting her staff for political work.”

Attorney William Costopoulos told the jury that the defense does not dispute that the documents that caused the mistrial were doctored. However, he said whoever cut and pasted the signatures did the work of a fifth grader to either try to help or harm the senator.

He also said the senator had nothing to with the forgery.

Costopoulos also told the jury they were about to experience “an optical illusion” from the prosecution with mounds of meaningless evidence.

The intern who launched the investigation was the first witness.

She testified that she resigned her internship because she was uncomfortable watching and hearing about campaign work in the office.

She reported what she saw to law enforcement.

The defense argued the intern described herself as a “liberal commie” in a blog and had an agenda to bring down Jane Orie.


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