Amid scandal, new state treasurer bans contract finder fees

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 19, 2017 3:24 AM

State Treasurer Joe Torsella. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- The state's newly sworn-in treasurer says he's banning contracts that pay third-party marketers for private money managers.

The announcement by Democrat Joe Torsella comes amid two pending federal criminal cases that revolve around the lucrative contracts to invest billions of taxpayer dollars.

Torsella says the finder's fees don't result in better investment performance. He also says they've undermined public trust and added unnecessary taxpayer costs.

In July, federal prosecutors charged suburban Philadelphia businessman Richard W. Ireland for allegedly trying to bribe ex-Treasurer Rob McCord with secret campaign contributions. Ireland's lawyers argued that prosecutors didn't back up the charges.

Firms marketed by Ireland have collected tens of millions of dollars from the state. Meanwhile, Ireland and a business partner have given more than $1 million in campaign contributions, including to candidates for Pennsylvania treasurer.

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