At sentencing today, former Pa. treasurer could get six years for extorting donors

In this Feb. 17, 2015, file photo, former elected Pennsylvania state treasurer Rob McCord walks from the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

In this Feb. 17, 2015, file photo, former elected Pennsylvania state treasurer Rob McCord walks from the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Pennsylvania’s former treasurer will be sentenced in federal court in Harrisburg Tuesday after pleading guilty to extortion more than three years ago.

Prosecutors have delayed sentencing Rob McCord while he cooperated with authorities investigating other corruption.

Once a rising star in Pennsylvania politics, McCord launched an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2014. But the FBI secretly recorded him trying to bully campaign donors into pumping cash into that campaign. If they didn’t pony up, he was recorded as saying, the donors might lose contracts with the state.

“Clearly, that was wrong,” McCord said in 2015 as he announced his resignation in a video. He later pleaded guilty to extortion.

It is unclear how much credit prosecutors will give McCord, a Democrat, for flipping on his onetime associates. He was the star witness in the prosecution of a wealthy donor, but McCord’s testimony backfired, and the case fell apart.

The former Bryn Mawr resident now faces up to about six years in prison. In the 2015 resignation video, he said he was prepared to own up to his crimes.

“I stand ready to pay the price for the mistake,” McCord said. “I’ve always believed in accountability and talked about accountability. Now, I have to live it.”

McCord reportedly now lives in North Carolina and teaches yoga. His lawyer is expected to ask the judge for a lenient sentence, citing McCord’s lengthy public service.

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