White-Collar Crime

Lawyer, Who Is a Pa. Senator and Sister of a Top Judge, Is Charged with Perjury re Alleged Fake Docs

A Pennsylvania lawyer who is currently a Republican state senator and is the sister of a state supreme court justice has been criminally charged for allegedly faking evidence in an earlier political corruption case that resulted in a mistrial earlier this year.

Sen. Jane Orie, 49, faces obstruction, perjury, forgery and evidence-tampering charges in the Allegheny County case, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her lawyer, William Costopoulos, called the charges a “vindictive maneuver,” claiming they are intended to influence the outcome of a pending appeal in state superior court.

“I have read the new charges and every relevant factual allegation was before her last jury,” says Costopoulos in a written statement provided to the Associated Press.

“This case has already been tried and the double jeopardy claim is before the superior court,” he says. “The timing of these new charges is suspicious and I believe this vindictive maneuver was brought to influence the appellate process.”

At issue in the initial criminal case against Orie was whether she had used her state-funded senate staff to do political campaign work. A Congress.org page provides additional details about Orie’s background.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Pa. Justice’s Assistant, Her Sister, Is Suspended in Campaign Probe”

ABAJournal.com: “Pa. Supreme Court Justice Consulted ‘Angel Lady’ Psychic, Search Warrant Says”

ABAJournal.com: “‘Doctored’ Docs Create Mistrial for Lawmaker Accused of Illegally Helping Sis in Supreme Court Race”

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