Tough talk from the Orie clan when Jane and sister Janine were arraigned on corruption charges today, accused of using state employees to campaign for their sister Joan's successful state Supreme Court campaign last year. (A pdf of the grand jury presentment is here.)
Leaving the arraignment today, Jack Orie read a five-minute statement in which he likened the charges brought by District Attorney Stephen Zappala to a "Mafia hit."
Mr. Orie said he would produce witnesses who claim Mr. Zappala used an obscenity threatening anyone who "messed" with his family. He also accused Mr. Zappala of calling the sisters "bitches."
Jane Orie spoke briefly. "I know the threat I am to the Zappala family. This is about gambling. This is so personal by Steve Zappala he can't control himself."
She accused the DA of intimidating her staff to "make them say things that are untrue."
Ms. Orie has suggested that she has been targeted for prosecution because of her opposition to expanded casino gambling in Pennsylvania. Mr. Zappala's father, former state Supreme Court Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr., has served as an official with a group representing the casino industry.
"It's all a political thing. It's all about the Zappalas," Jane Orie told one supporter who met her on the way out of Judge Wagner's court.
Photo: Post-Gazette. Jack Orie reads a statement to the press surrounded by his sisters, from left, Sen. Jane Orie, Judith E. Orie, Judge Joan Orie Melvin and Janine Orie.