Monday, June 04, 2012

Former Penn. GOP senator sentenced to prison for corruption


Former Pennsylvania state Sen. Jane Orie (R) has been ordered to immediately serve her 2 1/2 to 10-year prison sentence, according to the Associated Press.
The 50-year-old lawmaker was accused of using her state-funded staff members to perform campaign work for herself and her sister, a state judge. She then allegedly forged documents in hopes of covering it up.
Orie was convicted of 14 counts, including theft, conspiracy, conflict of interest, forgery, and evidence tampering in March, but was acquitted of 10 other counts, including perjury and election-code violations.
 She resigned from the Pennsylvania Senate in May.
“I think the outcome was positive,” Jennifer Knapp Rioja, a former intern for Orie, told the Pittsburg-Tribune Review after Orie was convicted.
“I think it shows that misusing state resources for your own gain will not go unpunished,” she continued. “Especially in a time of such severe budget cutting, that any money was diverted illegally is shameful. How many people are scheduled to lose food stamp benefits? How much less money is Pitt getting this year? Where else did that money belong?”
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.’s office launched an investigation of Orie after Rioja filed a complaint against the Pennsylvania lawmaker in 2009.

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