Another witness describes political work for Orie

March 6, 2012 2:04 pm

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As the first prosecution witness of the day left the courtroom this morning, state Sen. Jane Orie hugged the woman and kissed her cheek.

Kathleen Campbell, an aide in the senator's North Hills district office, testified that she was directed by Ms. Orie's chief of staff to conduct political work for the woman.

Even though she had concerns, Ms. Campbell said she didn't complain because she feared, "that I could lose my job. I did what I was told. I've seen many people let go, and I needed my job."

On cross-examination by defense attorney William Costopoulos, Ms. Campbell said she worked two elections days each year doing campaign work, and likely performed a total of 30 hours of additional political work over her six-year career with the senator.

"So, we're talking about 30 hours over six years?" Mr. Costopoulos asked.

"Yes," she answered.

"So, we're averaging about five hours per year? Or 30 minutes per month?" he continued.

Ms. Orie is charged with using her legislative resources to campaign for herself and her sister, state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. In addition, she faces charges of perjury and forgery that came out of a prior trial last year.

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.
First Published 2012-03-06 13:05:06

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