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Judge midtrial throws out Pennsylvania pay-to-play case

MARC LEVY
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A judge midtrial has thrown out the pay-to-play case against a wealthy investment adviser accused of bribing Pennsylvania’s former treasurer to get state business.

The Susquehanna River is seen in the background of this aerial photograph of the Capitol complex in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S. District Judge John Jones III says he saw no evidence that favors were traded in exchange for campaign contributions from defendant Richard Ireland.

The ruling Monday from comes after prosecutors rested and the defense was about to start its case in the weeks-long trial.

Bribery trial paints stark picture of Pennsylvania politics

Prosecutors had relied on several days of testimony from disgraced former treasurer Rob McCord. He awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to extortion two years ago.

McCord’s testimony painted a stark picture of how business gets done in a state without campaign finance limits.

Jones’ ruling dismisses the 79-count case against Ireland. Prosecutors cannot appeal the ruling or retry the case.