Lawyers for state Sen. Jane C. Orie, R-McCandless, today asked Allegheny County court for a postponement of her trial on corruption charges while they appeal the judge's earlier ruling that allowed the case to proceed. (UPDATE: The request has already been denied.)
Ms. Orie faces charges of theft of services and other counts, along with her sister, Janine. They are accused of diverting state employees and resources toward political campaigns, including the Supreme Court candidacy of a third sister, Justice Joan Orie Melvin.
Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Manning last month rejected a motion by the defense to throw out the charges against the sisters, who claimed the state ethics act, which was the foundation for the criminal charges, was unconstitutionally vague. Sen. Orie plans to appeal that ruling to the state Superior Court.
While the two sisters are appealing to the Superior Court, Ms. Orie's lawyer also filed a King's Bench petition seeking an immediate review by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court "to address the constitutional challenges to the conflict-of-interest statute as well as the searches and seizures in the case." The state Senate Republican caucus filed a similar King's Bench petition Wednesday.
Such an appeal would put the case directly in front of the court on which Justice Melvin sits.