Jane Orie took the stand in her own defense today, putting blame on political work on her former chief of staff, and speaking directly to the jury.
"Some staff would volunteer after hours . . . other than that, they had absolutely nothing to do with my special election," she said of the 2001 contest in which she first won her Senate seat.
She insisted that she had been similarly scrupulous in each of her subsequent elections. She identified a series of memos or e-mails in which she had reiterated a policy of separating political work from staff time. The descriptions were in sharp contrast to the testimony of prosecution witnesses, including Ms. Pavlot, who had described an office culture in which campaign chores were a routine part of the work day.
Sen. Orie frequently looked directly at the jury as she described her years in office. She spoke in an even, unemotional tone after a morning of testimony in which scores of friends and colleagues had testified on her behalf.
Under questioning from her attorney, William Costopoulos, she identified a series of messages in which she had ordered Ms. Pavlot to be sure that political work was barred form the office.
"I always believed Jamie would follow my directives and enforce my directives," she said.State Sen. Jane Orie. Robin Rombach/PG