Monday, September 10, 2012


The public corruption cases against Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sisters have been in the news lately because of recently issued court orders to try two sisters together and to suspend Orie Melvin's salary pending the outcome of her trial.

One aspect of the Orie case we expect never to be in the news is the Senate Republicans' apparent coverup of Sen. Jane Orie's crimes and then-gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's cheerful tolerance of their lawbreaking.

Former Sen. Jane Orie was convicted in March and sentenced in June on five felonies and nine misdemeanors in connection with illegal campaign work at taxpayer expense, and a subsequent attempt to cover up her crimes.

The Patriot-News reported in February of 2008 that Senate Republicans had been supoenaed (a full year after the start of the investigation) for "evidence of campaigning on state time or using state resources."

The Allegheny County presentment accusing Jane Orie of her crimes reveals that "up until late spring of 2009, some of those very campaign and political records of Orie's were maintained on computer hard drives that were part of the state computer system."

We also know that political material was in Jane Orie's senatorial office at least until November 1, 2009, when her chief of staff Jamie Pavlot testified that she removed it.

These records were created during Jane Orie's 2002 and 2006 campaigns, so they were on the hard drives when Senate Republicans received a subpoena for them. So, at the very least, Senate Republicans failed to comply with a subopoena. When Corbett learned, through an investigation not his own, that Senate Republicans did not turn over evidence which he supposedly had subpoenaed, did he take legal action?

Perhaps the Senate Republicans believed that Corbett issued the subpoenas simply for show, in response to criticisms that he was not investigating all four caucuses. After all, he did nothing for a year after House Republicans ignored the subpoenas he supposedly issued in October 2007.

It's interesting to note that during nearly two full years when Tom Corbett allegedly was investigating all four caucuses, even after her caucus was subpoenaed, Jane Orie felt perfectly comfortable maintaining political material on state-owned computers. It was only when she learned that someone other than Tom Corbett was investigating - Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. - that she became concerned enough to remove political material from her computers and her office.

Why, we wonder, did Corbett's investigation inspire no such concern?

Perfectly timed be be buried by release of the Freeh Report, the Tribune-Review dutifully reported in July that Corbett "found no substantial evidence of wrongdoing among Senate Republicans."

Sen. John Eichelberger never was interviewed, even though he has said that he could name times and places where he saw aides of former Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona, campaigning in Cambria County races, including his own.

Eichelberger says the lack of action is politically motivated; it's hard to believe that Corbett wouldn't have found reason to indict someone in the Senate Republican Caucus, if only he had been looking. Of the bonuses that triggered the investigation, Senate Republicans awarded the largest, to staffers who worked on political campaigns.


Anonymous said...

"Truth, but no Consequences," provides further evidence that the Corbett investigation into the Legislature was purely political.

The Senate was in Republican hands, so Corbett, a fellow Republican, chose not to attack the chamber. Don't make waves that could hurt at election time.

The House of Representatives was in Democrat hands, so Corbett chose to attack them with charges that gained the media notoriety of "Bonusgate."

As a result, the House of Representatives flipped from Democrat to Republican control.

Corbett ran on cleaning up Harrisburg and in January 2011, moved in the Governor's Mansion.

The Truth; Corbett's list of "Consequences" starts with the impotent Senate investigation, delayed Sandusky investigation, ignored Orie investigation, shielded House Republican Leadership investigation, paranoid jury interest, etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

This raises very important nd legitimate questions. I fear there will never be any real investigation and therefore no answers.

Anonymous said...

Exactly...Corbett was just paying back some big donors...from the second mile.

I can't believe the head of the 2nd mile was making over 250k between him and his wife, was a child psychologist responsible for the well being of minors who blew off Tim Curley and has never been investigated.

"They Ask Me What I'd Like Written About Me When I'm Gone.

I Hope They Write I Made Penn State a Better Place Not that I Was Just a Good Football Coach."

Anonymous said...

Impeach Corbett.
"Misbehavior in Office."
Political expedience over duty.
Where is the House Leadership?

Anonymous said...


TURDSEYE, and CORBUTT used this investigation to advance their own political agenda...

Corbutt personally worked with his operatives to ensure this DO-NOTHING GOVIGNORE could advance his career....

NEED to start asking who knew what and when did they know it....

Unfortunately the REPUBIC PARTY GANG are masters of covering their tracks as was proven by CORBUTT allowing REPUBLIC PARTY POLITICIANS to destroy their hard drives and installing a new computer system in the middle of a MAKE BELIEVE INVESTIGATION...

The only way this ALLEGEHENY COUNTY SLIME and most corrupt govignore in PENNSYLVANIA history will be prosecuted for his crimes of public corruption is to get a FEDERAL INVESTIGATION STARTED NOW.

But the Casey Family has it own Political Agenda for themselves...

Anonymous said...

Clearly, it seems some are trying to make this a political issue.

Politics should be put aside, and there are some important questions that need to be answered.

It may take Corbett being voted out of office to get to the bottom of the nest.

Or somebody singing like a canary. Corbett needs to answer why Jerry roamed free for years, endangering the children in the community.

I know they wanted to build a case, but people are charged and arrested with a few charges every single day, and later charges added to bolster the case.

Soooo many questions everywhere ???I have voted republican my entire life, but I won 't vote for Corbutt ever again due to his handling of this issue alone without accountabilty.

Anonymous said...

The minute it was brought up, Republican House Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson) swiftly adjourned the chamber.

Wasn't Stan Smith the one that signed Illegal Computer Contracts and ignored by Corbett's Investigators?

Speaker Sam Smith adjourned the chamber after Democrats tried to force discussion of a resolution asking the U.S. attorney’s office to look into the matter, including whether the three-year investigation of allegations against the former Penn State assistant football coach took too long, putting children’s safety at risk.

Anonymous said...

Governor Corbett is part of the problem as is everyone involved since knowing about Sandusky's allegations.

If you vote for Governor Corbett next time around you are a pedophile enabler plain and simple.

I see he never gave back the campaign money he took from the Second Mile helped started by Sandusky.

No excuses Corbett should not be in office based off his mishaps as Attorney General.

I do not want to hear any garbage about he handled the investigation properly.

As soon as a child (and in this case multiple children) being raped it should be investigated quickly and thoroughly.

Go ahead vote for Corbett and you supported a pedophile enabler.

Anonymous said...

"Causing the Republican speaker to abruptly end the day's session..."

The old "cut and run" play.

Cut to the right and run for the door.

I hope some GOP guy kicked Rip's chair and woke him up before the stampede so he wasn't left behind.

Well debate over and Corbett and Smith and Turzai might as go hide is head in shame.

No teleprompters to help them form their words and they stuttered running home to see the Debates.

Never saw a fear to review the investigation of Corbett that now cowers in a corner.

Smith looked like a idiot on prime time and embarressed me to say he is our Speaker.

Did you see leadership skills?


You want 2 more years of that?

Anonymous said...

The arrogance of power, the 1%, the politicians, the media brainwashing, choose your villian.

I will not be voting for any republicans this year, I'm a registered republican but I won't be voting for them until One Term Tommy is gone.

It definately helps the chances of the truth coming out so due process can be completed.

Was Rendell as bad as One Term Tommy?