Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Today is the second day of a pretrial hearing in Pittsburgh for Pennsylvania State Senator Jane Orie and one of her sisters on corruption charges. Senator Orie, a Republican from McCandless Township, is charged with illegally using her legislative staff to do campaign work for herself and another sister, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Justice Melvin is not charged. Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning is hearing evidence and arguments on a request by prosecutors for an out of county jury. He's also considering whether some search warrants for phone and office records of Senator Orie were legal, and whether the conflict of interest statute used to charge the senator is unconstitutionally vague. The trial for Senator Orie and her sister, Janine, an assistant to Justice Melvin, is scheduled to begin February 7.