Sunday, February 1, 2015

Oh My Ories!

You just knew that Jane Orie trial in Pittsburgh would go rogue.

Oh My Ories!

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Holy litigation, Bossman! That Pittsburgh trial of state Sen. Jane Orie is taking a wild turn.

BE: Jane, the sister of Supreme Court Justice Joan, the sister of former Supreme Court Justice Joan's aide Janine, the sister of Jane, Joan and Janine's lawyer/brother Jack who initially represented Jane and Janine?

JB: Yessir.

BE: What's going on with all the JO's?

JB: And by that you mean Ories with a first name that starts with J, right?

BE: Of course. What else would that mean?

JB: Nevermind. Anywho, Jane, who's on trial with sister Janine for allegedly using her office for political work on her own and her sister Joan's judicial campaign, has an attorney with big brass ones.

BE: William C. Costopoulos, defense attorney extraordinaire, who's also representing former House Speaker and current state Rep. Bill DeWeese on similiar public corruption charges and who's known for filing every possible legal motion to help his clients and/or extend the process to eat up more billable hours?

JB: Well, yeah, but he would say to insure justice.

BE: What's the latest?

JB: The latest, you'll love this, is reported in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the wake of last month's mistrial (WHILE THE JURY WAS DELIBERATING!!) and after the prosecution alleged some defense evidence was forged to benefit Orie, Costopoulos has filed motions that suggest the prosecution orchestrated the mistrial for fear the jury would came back with an aquittal.

BE: Juries can be fickle.

JB: AND, Costopoulos says trying Jane again is double-jeopardy, AND he wants the judge removed for suggesting the defense forged the evidence in question, AND he wants on ongoing investigation of the alleged forgery taken out of the hands of the local DA and turned over to the state attorney general.

BE: Sounds like a circus of jurisprudence.

JB: There's more. The local DA is Stephen Zappala Jr., son of former state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Zappala. The Ories, Republicans, and the Zappala's, Democrats, have been called the Hatfields and McCoys and Allegheny County.

BE: Sounds like there's a lot to sort out here.

JB: Sounds like justice, whever it lies, lies a long way down road. Grrrrr.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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