Orie Senate Seat: What’s Next

Pennsylvania state Sen. Jane Orie (R-Allegheny) resigned Monday, May 21 facing 14 convictions for the use of government employees in her campaign.

Orie, who was convicted in March, will be sentenced on June 4. The sentencing was originally scheduled to take place on Monday but was postponed to allow time to collect letters from supporters asking for judicial leniency.

Following Orie’s resignation, Lt. Gov. Cawley will have ten days to choose a date for an election to fill her senate seat. The special election could take place as soon as late July  and can occur no later than the November election date. Candidates, which will likely include former state Sen. Melissa Hart (R) and attorney Dan DeMarco, Orie’s 2010 Democratic opponent, would be chosen by party committees.

Stipulating that Orie’s senate seat will be moved to Monroe County, as most redistricting observers expect, there would most likely be a special election in Allegheny County to fill the remainder of her term, followed by a 2014 election in Monroe.

Based on past precedent, the special election is likely to coincide with the November general election.

Orie’s two-sentence resignation letter, submitted to Senate President Joe Scarnati read, “It has been an honor and a privilege for me to have served in the Senate of Pennsylvania.” Orie now faces the loss of her pension and possible jail time. Prosecutors are also seeking more than $1.3 million to reimburse taxpayers.

The senator’s resignation follows the charges against her sister Judge Joan Orie Melvin on Friday, May 18, who was similarly charged with the misappropriation of taxpayer dollars through the illegal use of government workers in her campaign. Corruption charges against the Orie sisters (Janine Orie also faces charges) have prompted non-profit organizations like Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts to call for an improved process of electing state judges.

6 Responses

  1. She’ll have have a future in the throwback porn industry with hair and makeup like that!

  2. Thank you for pointing out those errors. There are so many writers and journalists out of work at the moment, can’t you find one to edit and proofread these articles?

  3. I have known and admired for many years the owner of this website; while I fully understand that things are tough I am completely confident that none of his paying clients would ever be subjected to such an incoherent and self-contradictory article.

  4. Below are two brief writing tips you may wish to use for correction of this article, and remember for future use.

    First, former Senator Orie is not “facing 14 felony charges.” Instead, former Senator Orie “awaits sentencing after being convicted of 14 felonies.” The next paragraph recognizes her conviction, but the noted phrase remains incorrect. As a technical legal matter, one faces charges only before a verdict. In this case, former Senator Orie no longer is “facing 14 felony charges” after conviction. They are not “charges”, but rather “convictions.”

    Second, you may not want to write “[t]he special election will likely take place this summer” only to disagree with your own reporting, by writing “the special election is likely to coincide with the November general election”, in the very next paragraph.

  5. You might want to correct your last graph. judge Melvin has not been “convicted”

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