Allegheny County Republican Jane Orie is temporarily stepping down as State Senate Majority Whip after being charged with theft and other crimes this morning.
Orie faces charges she allegedly used her Senate office's resources to help campaign for her sister, Joan Orie Melvin, who successfully ran for a State Supreme Court seat last year.
Another Orie sister, Janine, an aide to Justice Orie Melvin, has also been charged.
In a letter to Senate President Pro Tem Joseph Scarnati and Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Orie called the charges "baseless," and dismissed Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappalla's investigation as "obsessive and vendetta-drawn."
Orie is stepping down as majority whip, saying the move is in the best interest of the Republican Caucus and the Senate. She's vowing to return to the post if she's exonerated on the charges.
Both Orie sisters face charges including theft, conspiracy, and tampering with evidence.