BREAKING: McCord Resigns
McCord is set to step down on February 12th. Chief Counsel Christopher Craig will be taking over.
“Please accept this letter as formal notification that I will resign from the Office of State Treasurer, effective 5 p.m. on February 12, 2015,” McCord wrote in his formal letter to Gov. Wolf. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth as their elected State Treasurer for the past six years. But with my goals at Treasury now achieved – and with a new Governor now in office to appoint my successor – it is time for me to return to the private sector, where most of my life’s work has been.”
He went on to list his accomplishments in office and praised his employees.
“Be assured that as I resign as State Treasurer, I leave the office under highly competent guidance and stewardship. I have designated Christopher B. Craig, current Chief Counsel to the department and former acting Chief of Staff, to assume the duties and responsibilities of the Office of State Treasurer until such time as a successor is nominated, confirmed and duly qualified pursuant to the state Constitution.”
McCord and Wolf never had a great relationship. They opposed each other in the Democratic primary and after Wolf sprinted out to his lead, McCord attacked Wolf’s business practices and pension plans. Most memorably, McCord hit Wolf for standing by his friend Charles Robertson after it was revealed Robertson was involved in a 1969 race riot.
At one point, McCord held a press conference where he played an obscene message from a racist caller who spoke ill of McCord and his wife Leigh Jackson, who is black.
During that event, he said walking away from Robertson was the “easiest of calls”. Therefore, he continued, “I, for one, worry about his [Wolf’s] ability to make the tough calls.”
The State Treasurer did try in his letter, however, to downplay any perception that his relationship to the new Governor was the reason behind his resignation.
“I would be remiss if I were to conclude this letter without once again offering you my personal
congratulations on your recent election as Pennsylvania’s new Governor,” McCord said. “As I leave this elected office, I know the citizens of the Commonwealth will be well served by your stewardship.”
It does not appear McCord is seeking another office, he denied any interest in a 2016 Senate race last November.
Update: Governor Wolf released the following statement on Treasurer McCord’s resignation:
“Treasurer Rob McCord has honorably and diligently served the people of Pennsylvania. In the past six years, Treasurer McCord has saved our commonwealth over a billion dollars by modernizing the Treasury Department, expanding innovative programs for our citizens, and protecting Pennsylvania’s best interests. I thank him for his tremendous service, commitment and dedication and wish him well in his new endeavors.”
Update 2: Mike Neilon of 6ABC is reporting that McCord is currently under federal investigation:
#Breaking: Sources say authorities are examining McCord for alleged theft of campaign and other funds.
— Mike Neilon6ABC (@MikeNeilon) January 29, 2015
Update 3: McCord spokesman Gary Tuma released the following statement in response to the reports about an investigation: