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February 17, 2015

Former Pa. Treasurer Rob McCord pleads guilty to extortion

Faces 40 years in prison when sentenced later this year

Politics Crime and Courts
01292015_rob_mccord_AP Matt Rourke, File/AP

Pennsylvania state Treasurer Rob McCord, seen voting in Bryn Mawr during his run for governor, announced on Friday he was resigning immediately.

Former Pennsylvania state Treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty in a Harrisburg federal courtroom Tuesday to charges related to soliciting campaign donations, CBS Philly reported.

McCord, 55, resigned last month after admitting on the record that he warned two potential donors to his Democratic primary campaign for governor that they didn’t want to make an enemy of him. He admitted to repeatedly trying to extort upward of $25,000 from an unnamed Philadelphia law firm and $100,000 from a property management firm in western Pennsylvania -- both of which did considerable business with the state.

"I stepped over the line by trying to take advantage of the fact that two potential contributors hoped to continue to do business with the commonwealth and by developing talking points to remind them that I could make things difficult for them," McCord said in the video statement, in which he also apologized to the people of Pennsylvania. "I essentially said that the potential contributors should not risk making an enemy of the state treasurer."

Gov. Tom Wolf will appoint a successor to serve out the rest of McCord's term, which ends in 2016. Last year, McCord unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor, losing to Wolf.

Judge John Jones III released McCord, who lives in suburban Philadelphia, on his own recognizance. McCord is due to be sentenced later this year, and faces up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, prosecutors say.