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Embattled Former Senator Sentenced for Pittsburgh Forgery Scheme

Embattled Former Senator Sentenced for Pittsburgh Forgery Scheme


A former state senator Jane Orie was sentenced to between 2.5 and 10 years behind bars following a conviction on charges of public corruption and forgery in Pittsburgh.

Criminal defense lawyers had been closely watching this case as it unfolded, considering the severity of the charges against her and the high rank of her former office. She had been charged and later convicted of nine misdemeanors and five felonies. Those charges included conspiracy, ethics violations, theft, forgery and evidence tampering.

The fact that someone of Orie's position could be convicted and sentenced for crimes this serious shows that no one is immune - and that it's imperative that you secure a good attorney as soon as possible following your arrest.

In this case, Orie had actually first gone to trial back in the beginning of 2011, when prosecutors alleged that she had used her legislative staff to conduct some campaign work for her, a violation of ethics laws. But then that trial came to a screeching halt when prosecutors reportedly uncovered evidence that Orie had produced documents that had been falsified in order to boost her case.

As both the prosecutors and judge indicated, the cover-up was actually worse than the initial crimes of which she was accused.

Perhaps more disturbing was the fact that Orie herself is an attorney and former prosecutor. It calls into question the entire profession - including any previous cases she may have prosecuted in the past.

What may have worked somewhat in her favor was that some 100 letters attesting to her good character were submitted to the court. Additionally, the judge noted she had no prior convictions and could cite decades of prior public service.

However, that was apparently not enough to help her escape a prison term.

Her attorney was quoted by The Pittsburgh Gazette as saying that he planned to appeal, at least partially on the basis that the court in which the case was tried may not have had the authority. Additionally, there is the contention from the defense that Orie was targeted because of disagreements she had with the family of the prosecutor in the case. If that is true, that could indeed be a valid point to explore upon appeal.