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FORMER LEADER OF PARTY PLEADS INNOCENT IN SCAM

The former head of the Rensselaer County Democratic Party has pleaded innocent to charges he got $640,000 in a scheme involving commissions paid to his wife's insurance business.

Edward F. McDonough Jr., 60, was arraigned Friday in Albany Medical Center Hospital, where he has been receiving treatment for a blood infection and other illnesses for the last week.

McDonough's wife, Marion, 62, pleaded innocent on Tuesday to the charges in federal court.

The McDonoughs of Troy are charged with six counts of extortion, five counts of mail fraud, two counts of racketeering and one criminal forfeiture count.

The indictment alleges that the McDonoughs extorted kickbacks from two insurance agents who worked for Rensselaer County municipalities during a 15-year period beginning in 1977.

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