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Source Of $125K Donation To McCord's Campaign Is A Mystery

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The source of a $125,000 contribution to the failed gubernatorial campaign of former Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord remains a mystery, more than eight months after it was given, a state official said Thursday.

The Enterprise Fund, the political action committee that gave the money, has ignored requirements since June to disclose the source of the money, according to the Department of State, which administers state election and campaign finance reporting laws.

The agency last year assessed the maximum $500 in late filing fees to the Enterprise Fund, which has not paid the fine, a Department of State spokesman said Thursday.

The federal government apparently has also shown an interest in the Enterprise Fund.

A person familiar with the request told The Associated Press that federal investigators sought information from the Treasury Department about the Enterprise Fund late last year. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person did not want to be identified discussing an investigative matter that, thus far, has not been discussed publicly by the authorities.

McCord resigned last Friday as Pennsylvania's elected state treasurer and signed an agreement in federal court to plead guilty to extortion charges for using his office to try to strong-arm contributions to his gubernatorial campaign. McCord is due in federal court in Harrisburg on Feb. 17.

Department of State records show that lawyer John H. Estey submitted paperwork in 2013 to create the Enterprise Fund.

Estey, 52, a onetime chief of staff to former Gov. Ed Rendell and former chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority, is an executive vice president for The Hershey Trust and chairman of the Independence Visitor Center. He did not immediately return telephone messages left Thursday.

McCord's campaign reported the $125,000 Enterprise Fund donation on May 21, a day after he came in a distant third in an expensive and bruising four-way race for the Democratic nomination to take on then-Gov. Tom Corbett in the Nov. 4 election.

The winner, Tom Wolf, went on to beat Corbett and as governor can nominate a successor to fill the remaining two years of McCord's term.

McCord reported raising and spending nearly $9 million in 2013 and 2014 for the race. He contributed $2.2 million of his own money to the cause, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state. Wolf spent nearly $15 million in the primary, including $10 million from his own wallet. All told, the four Democratic candidates spent more than $36 million on the primary.

In his last campaign finance report filed with the state, McCord listed a campaign debt of $2.2 million to himself.

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(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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