Note: I am writing this post within the fog of a migraine. If I suddenly type the word duhbertation you’ll know why.

I haven’t written about it but I have of course been closely following the Orie Sisters trial, partly because I love the drama of it all, and this trial was no exception with accusations of a sexual relationship and mentions of “elephants in the room,” and partly because I was hoping some awesome new pictures of the Orie sisters would come out of it.

Throughout the trial, employees have painted Jane Orie as a tough boss who they often did political work for on State time. That’s a no-no. A big one. Her right-hand woman for many years, Jamie Pavlot, testified against the Ories in exchange for immunity.

Then Jane Orie took the stand and said other than a few times where she got “lazy” she never engaged in political work on State time and that she entrusted Jamie to take care to make sure no political work was being done. Several memos purportedly from Jane Orie to Jamie indicated exactly that.  Don’t allow anyone to do political work unless it is on their personal time.

Several documents along those lines were presented by the defense, supposedly showing Jamie’s signature, and each time, Jamie claimed to never have seen them before. In fact, the Orie attorney mocked her during his closing arguments about it:

In his 90-minute closing argument, Mr. Costopoulos repeatedly assailed the credibility of the senator’s former chief of staff, Jamie Pavlot, who is still employed in Ms. Orie’s office. He contended that the 10-count indictment against the prominent Republican “rises and falls on her truthfulness.”

He reviewed a series of handwritten messages from the senator to the aide, in which Ms. Orie urged her, in one form or another, to be vigilant in separating political and legislative work. He mocked the fact that Ms. Pavlot had testified that she did not recognize any of those directives.

This was the one thing that stuck in my craw. I deep down thought with so many employees testifying that they had been instructed to do political work, that Jane was probably guilty. But these memos. Maybe she was trusting Jamie to put out the directive.


Then today … BOOM! goes the BOMB! on the Orie Sisters trial.

A mistrial declared when it became apparent that documents were doctored. That Jamie’s signature had been cut and pasted from one document onto a new document, one in which Jane Orie had handwritten that Jamie must take care to make sure employees separate their work.

As the judge said, “Ray Charles could see that signature was doctored.”

He then told the jury he was declaring a mistrial because “fraud had been perpetrated.”

BOOM! goes the word FRAUD! in the BOMB! on the Orie Sisters trial.

I’m not a lawyer or a judge or a police officer, so I don’t know what the repercussions are for this, should they be proven, but as a regular person who has been following this trial from day one, and who sees that the entire defense might have rested on doctored documents, this feels like the true beginning of the end of Jane Orie.

Also, when you type Jane Orie into, Ray Charles comes up as a suggestion.

Awesome duhbertation.

It just feels like it SHOULD be a word.


  1. Sooska
    March 3, 2011 5:34 pm

    Oh wow. I was hoping that a future story would include Jane caught digging at the walls with a nail file brought into jail inside one of her sister’s bouffant hairdos. Or she escaped in trowel-applied clown makeup. wait.

  2. eebs
    March 3, 2011 5:42 pm

    i totally thought that was christine o’donnell in that picture and wondered at how quickly she’d aged.

  3. Magnus Patris
    March 3, 2011 5:45 pm

    KId comes in and screams, “Daddy, that picture scared the shit out of me!” OK, well no… it was me who screamed when I opened this page. Gonna have bad dreams tonight.

  4. a in pgh
    March 3, 2011 5:55 pm

    She is soooo Bride of Chuckie!

  5. Butcher's Dog
    March 3, 2011 6:10 pm

    Moving away from the “beaten repeatedly with the ugly stick” comments for a moment, if the lawyer was involved in doctoring the documents or knew they were doctored when he submitted them, I’m thinking disbarment. No more lawyering. Because that’s just plain wrong, fradulent, and illegal.

  6. Baba Wawa
    March 3, 2011 6:33 pm

    i can’t tell if that’s a smile or a scowl

  7. empirechick
    March 3, 2011 7:30 pm

    The thing that bugs me is that they ALL do politcal work on tax payer time. Every time Dan Onorato went to Philadelphia (and everywhere else outside Allegheny County) to stump for votes, did he take vacation time?

    From what I read prior to the trial, it seemed like the Zappalas and the Ories are modern day Hatfields/McCoys, and maybe these charges were a little ginned up. Forged documents introduced into evidence, however, is a comepletly different ballgame.

  8. Noelle
    March 3, 2011 7:50 pm

    The fake stripper nails, the hideous 80s hair, the reinforced-toe nylons with sandals, the polyester “white before memorial day” clothing, the smug-ugly face – I’m just itching for a legal beat down for that alone.

    I may be a superficial bitch to say that out loud, and none of these things are grounds for the destruction of someone’s career and reputation, but am I so wrong to WANT it? Especially if the evidence for a real wrong doing does actually exist? Maybe just a gleeful little tiny bit?

  9. Cindy T.
    March 3, 2011 8:04 pm

    The doctored docs just came to light today after three weeks of testimony?

  10. PittCheMBA
    March 3, 2011 8:29 pm

    Both the Post Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review have electronic copies of the doctored documents. Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can see the bad cut and paste job. See for yourself.

  11. Shibori
    March 3, 2011 8:55 pm

    On Channel 11’s coverage of them coming and going to court, one of the sisters appeared to be wearin an ivory Snuggie.

  12. Heather
    March 3, 2011 9:00 pm

    I just like that our local paper (here in Johnstown) printed a headline with the phrase “Orie Jury”…that made me giggle a little bit.

  13. bucdaddy
    March 3, 2011 9:25 pm

    “How about a little fire, Scarecrow?”

  14. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    March 3, 2011 9:26 pm

    @Cindy — One of the articles mentioned that they were defense exhibits that were just entered into evidence during Jane Orie’s testimony, so the prosecution would not have seen them until they were submitted one whatever day she testified and referenced the documents. I think the prosecution received copies of them on Tuesday.

  15. gunnlino
    March 3, 2011 10:45 pm

    Do you thing maybe something stinks in Denmark
    ( aka Harrisburgh ) ?
    This is PA politics, you are aware of that right?

  16. Aileen
    March 3, 2011 11:31 pm

    @Bucdaddy –

    I was thinking along those same lines – except mine was “I’ll get you, my pretty!”

  17. bucdaddy
    March 4, 2011 1:32 am

    “Fly, my Monkeymen*, fly!”

    Do-do do-do do-doooo-do.

    *–Originally mistyped as “Moneymen,” which may be appropriate too.

  18. RPJ
    March 4, 2011 2:09 am

    “…and partly because I was hoping some awesome new pictures of the Orie sisters would come out of it….”

    Your migraines are making you prescient – Just as you foresaw, get a load of the Post Gazette’s full color pic of Creaky and Squeaky:

    I think we may have stumbled onto a repellant for the stink bugs.

  19. fone guy stan
    March 4, 2011 8:31 am

    What a waste of taxpayer dollars. The defense attorney made mockery of the fact that the office manager Jamie now sits in the Cranberry office getting paid $80,000 + per year to do nothing. The jurers wasted 3 weeks of thier life (getting paid 7 dollars a day) to have the trial end like this. But, it’s not over. We’ll get more great pictures and “news” coverage about this for the next year or so.

  20. Butcher's Dog
    March 4, 2011 9:19 am

    @bucdaddy: We could change to film to Holy Grail:
    “She’s a witch! Burn her!!!”
    “How do you know she’s a witch?”
    “She turned me into a newt! [pause] I got better.”

  21. spoon
    March 4, 2011 10:30 am

    Lets build a bridge out of @bucdaddy!

  22. bucdaddy
    March 4, 2011 11:53 am

    Ah, but are bridges not also built out of spoon?

    *mumble mumble um yes, right, right …*

  23. Erin
    March 4, 2011 1:32 pm

    Okay, so why a mistrial? What a waste. The documents were forged. So can’t we consider that they didn’t exist, and move on with the trial as if there were no documents?

  24. unsatisfied
    March 4, 2011 1:43 pm

    that picture is scarier than the one of lady elaine.


  25. BlueNumber2
    March 4, 2011 2:29 pm

    Here’s a question, why do elected state officials hire their own state staff? Why can’t the state staff be permanent and stay in the office regardless of whether a D or an R is in the position? Then completely bar that staff from ANY political activity.

    Would that not eliminate these dual roles of campaign and state business as well as eliminate campaign patronage?

  26. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    March 4, 2011 3:04 pm

    You are more likely to find “patronage” hires in the district staff than the Capitol staff. I’ve never worked a campaign in my life and had no political connections in my family or friends when I went looking for a legislative job in law school. I’ve worked for both Rs and Ds over the past ten years. Most of my friends and colleagues can say the same. The members I’ve worked for have always had separate campaign staff.

  27. LaReina
    March 5, 2011 1:28 pm

    I was going to call this a political witchhunt, but it would look like I was referring to Ms. Orie’s hair and makeup. Yikes.