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Orie’s former chief testifies to alleged forgery

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Pennsylvania state Sen. Jane Orie, R-Allegheny, walks to the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh for her retrial on charges of using her staff for campaign work on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012.  The new trial on those charges and new charges that she li

Pennsylvania state Sen. Jane Orie, R-Allegheny, walks to the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh for her retrial on charges of using her staff for campaign work on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. The new trial on those charges and new charges that she lied during a first trial and forged some of the documents used in her defense starts Wednesday.

Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — State Sen. Jane Orie's former chief of staff has begun testifying about documents central to the alleged forgery of a defense document used at Orie's corruption trial last year.

The Republican state senator is now on trial on five perjury counts.

Her first case ended in a mistrial when a judge ruled that chief of staff Janie Pavlot's signature had been transferred from a 2010 document to one dated in 2006.

Orie's lawyers had introduced the 2006 document to bolster claims that Pavlot had been told not to let staff do campaign work on state time. Pavlot claims she was never told that.

Pavlot testified Thursday that senate staff did campaign work for both Orie and a sister, state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. The judge is not charged.