Openings slated Thursday in trial of Pa. Sen. Orie

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Opening statements are scheduled Thursday in the public corruption trial of Pittsburgh-area Republican state Sen. Jane Orie.

Allegheny County prosecutors and defense attorneys for Orie and her sister, Janine, finished up selecting 12 jurors and four alternates Tuesday after interviewing a total of 56 potential jurors.

After a number of motions are considered Wednesday, opening statements are slated Thursday in the trial, which is expected to last about two weeks.

Prosecutors allege that Sen. Orie used her taxpayer-funded staff to perform campaign and fundraising work for herself and a third sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Janine Orie is a Melvin aide who prosecutors say could order the lawmaker's staff to do work on the judge's 2009 campaign. The sisters say they are innocent and call the prosecution politically motivated.

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