Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning has declared a mistrial in the public corruption case against State Senator Jane Orie of Pittsburgh's North Hills. Judge Manning took the action after he agreed with prosecutors who argued documents entered into evidence by the defense were doctored. Shortly after noon, the judge ordered the jury to halt deliberations after the prosecution raised questions about the validity of key defense documents. Manning then held a hearing at which a prosecution witness testified that documents bearing the signature of a key prosecution witness, Orie's former chief of staff, Jamie Pavlot, had been fabricated.
Manning declared that a fraud had been perpetrated on the court and a mistrial was necessary. He then brought the jury into the courtroom to explain to them why they
were being dismissed.
Orie and her sister Janine Orie are charged with using the senator's staff to
perform allegedly illegal campaign and fundraising work while on state time.