PITTSBURGH — Former Republican state Sen. Jane Orie will be released from state prison on Sunday, barely 20 months after she was sentenced for using her taxpayer-funded legislative staff to do campaign work and forging defense exhibits to try to cover it up, her attorney said Thursday.
“She’s being released Sunday and it’s a day that’s been long awaited for by her and her family,” Orie’s attorney, William Cost-opoulos, told The Associated Press.
Orie, 52, was sentenced in June 2012 to 2ﾽ to 10 years in prison by an Allegheny County judge. But she’ll be out Sunday because of credit for good time and a rule that let her serve just 75 percent of her minimum term because she’s a nonviolent criminal who isn’t likely to offend again.
Orie has served her sentence at the State Correctional Institution-Cambridge Springs, about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh’s North Hills suburbs where she’ll return to live with her father, a retired physician.
“During her tour there she’s done a lot of good things for others, which has been her calling and mission,” Costopoulos said, including teaching and helping other inmates to receive their general education diplomas, or GEDs.
“I’ve been told they’re going to miss her up there as an institution, but she’s going home Sunday and is very much looking forward to going home Sunday,” Costopoulos said.
Orie’s release comes as the appeal of her conviction and sentence is still pending before the Superior Court. The case was argued in Harrisburg on Dec. 10, but a ruling isn’t expected for months, Costopoulos said.
Despite having already served her sentence, Orie still has something at stake, Costopoulos said.
“It would go a long way to restoring something that is very important to her, her reputation,” he said. “I also believe her (state) pension would re-vest and I believe she would be eligible — not that she would exercise her right — to run for office again.”