For Immediate Release

July 21, 2010

 Evidence Speaks for Itself:  Judge Sends Orie Case to Criminal Trial
Jane Orie Offers Lame Excuses for Using Senate Office for Political Gain

Ross Twp., Pa. —  Following a preliminary hearing this week that revealed details about Jane Orie’s misuse of state resources and staff for political campaigns, it comes as no surprise that an Allegheny County judge has ruled that there is enough evidence to send the Orie case to trial.  During three days of testimony, Orie’s current and former Senate employees described widespread political work in her state office.  Orie staffers testified that they routinely did campaign work on state time, which included making campaign calls, tracking political contributions, using state equipment for political purposes, and driving Jane Orie and her sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, to political events.

 “With the substantial tome of evidence presented at the hearing, it is certainly not astonishing that the criminal charges in this case have been held over for trial,”  said Christina Brussalis, DeMarco campaign manager.  “But what is amazing is the glimpse we’ve received of an Orie defense strategy that seems to be coming straight from my nine-year-old’s playbook of excuses.”

 “The excuse that ‘everyone is doing it’ just won’t fly with the voters of the 40th District, especially in the wake of Bonusgate and Mike Veon’s trial,” said Brussalis.  “Not only are there plenty of examples of honest elected officials at all levels of government who take the separation of political and government duties very seriously, we expect much more from our elected officials.”

 “And no one should know the rules better than Jane Orie herself.  Twelve years ago, she voted for the very same ethics law that she is accused of violating today,” said Brussalis.  “It is the law in Pennsylvania.  There is no excuse for using taxpayer-funded staff and resources for political campaign activity.  The citizens of Pennsylvania deserve better.  We deserve honest, ethical leadership, not excuses.”