Jane Orie is taking the appeals of her retrial on corruption charges to the state's highest court. (Where her sister sits.) If the trial goes forward with jury picking April 26, her lawyer also wants jurors from her senatorial district chosen.
UPDATE: Trial judge Jeffrey Manning today pushed back jury selection until Oct. 3.
A lawyer for state Sen. Jane Orie appealed her case to the state Supreme Court today, asking the court to halt her retrial on corruption charges to review whether an Allegheny County judge erred when he declared a mistrial for her and her sister last month.
In the emergency petition for review, lawyer William Costopoulos argued that the court should bar Ms. Orie's retrial on the grounds that it would constitute double jeopardy. He also asked the state Supreme Court to review whether Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Manning erred when he refused to remove himself from hearing the case.
Jury selection for the new trial had been set to begin April 26.
Ms. Orie, a McCandless Republican, and her sister, Janine Orie, are charged with using public resources and employees in campaigns for the senator and a third sister, state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Justice Melvin has not been charged.
Jane and Janine Orie's first trial started in February before Judge Manning. It ran for nearly three weeks, but shortly after the jury began to deliberate, a prosecutor raised concerns about documents entered into evidence by the defense.
Judge Manning declared that signatures on the documents were obviously doctored, and after they were reviewed by an expert, Judge Manning ordered a mistrial.
The sisters' new trial was initially scheduled to start April 11, but her lawyer appealed to the state Superior Court, effectively delaying it. The Superior Court denied that appeal, setting the stage for today's Supreme Court appeal.
If this appeal were accepted for review, it would bring the Ories' case before the same court their sister sits on.
Also today, Mr. Costopoulos filed a motion requesting that if Jane Orie's retrial goes forward, all prospective jurors in Allegheny County be considered for inclusion in the jury. Previously, jurors from her legislative district had been excluded.