Pennsylvania treasurer to plead guilty to U.S. federal campaign violations

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 30, 2015 6:00 PM

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord on Friday admitted to having "stepped over the line" in seeking campaign contributions, and will plead guilty to federal campaign law violations, according to his attorneys.

A day after saying that he would resign on Feb. 12 and intended to join the public sector, McCord, one of the activist officials to hold his elected position, 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," McCord said, 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.

McCord will enter his plea in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, his attorneys said.

(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Diane Craft)