Corruption trial focuses on pressure for pension fund deal



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    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — On the second day of ex-Pennsylvania state treasurer Rob McCord's testimony, prosecutors are playing secretly recorded conversations about how a suburban Philadelphia investment adviser who's on trial sought state pension fund business.

    Defendant Richard Ireland urges McCord to help pension board members to "think big" in one November 2014 phone message.

    In Thursday's testimony, McCord also described how business discussions with Ireland became increasingly mingled with discussions of campaign contributions. The 80-year-old Ireland is accused of trying to bribe McCord with secret campaign contributions to land lucrative contracts to invest taxpayer dollars.

    But Ireland's lawyers say Ireland never sought an illegal exchange, and pursued advocacy within legal limits.

    McCord recorded some conversations with Ireland while cooperating with federal authorities in his final months as Pennsylvania's elected treasurer. He's pleaded guilty to extortion counts.

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