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February 02, 2015

McCord charged with extortion

Ex-Pa. treasurer issues apology, will plead guilty

Crime Government
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.

Days after he resigned and admitted to strong-arming potential contributors, former Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord was charged Monday with extortion in U.S. Middle District Court, reports.

McCord had said earlier that he will plead guilty to attempting to coerce contributors to give him money for his 2014 governor campaign.

On Friday, the day after saying that he would resign on Feb. 12 and intended to join the public sector, McCord apologized to the people of Pennsylvania for his actions in a video distributed by his attorneys on Friday.

"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 then," McCord said in the video. "I essentially said that the potential contributors should not risk making an enemy of the state treasurer."

His attorneys said in a statement that McCord "will be pleading guilty to certain federal charges arising out of his attempts in the spring of 2014 to raise campaign contributions."

In the video, McCord said he was concerned that by remaining in office, he would make it difficult for his department to operate. "The mistake and fault here is mine and mine alone," said McCord, adding that he was resigning immediately.

Newly elected Governor 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.

Reuters contributed to this report.