Opening statements start Orie corruption retrial


None (AP)BURGH (AP) -- Republican state Sen. Jane Orie's defense attorney told a jury that his client is too smart to have committed some of the stupid crimes attributed to her by county prosecutors.

Orie is being retried on campaign corruption charges because her first trial last year ended in a mistrial when a judge determined an exhibit she offered in her own defense was an obvious forgery.

But defense attorney William Costopoulus said during Wednesday's opening statements that Orie wouldn't be so dumb as to have done that because she began her professional career as a prosecutor.

Deputy Allegheny County District Attorney Lawrence Claus told the jury Orie was just trying to cover her tracks after learning she was under investigation for allegedly using taxpayer-funded staff for campaign work.