- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania state lawmaker who secretly pleaded guilty to a federal money laundering charge will be replaced in a March 21 special election.

The election for the heavily Democratic 197th District was scheduled Wednesday to replace Leslie Acosta. The district has seen two straight representatives go down in scandal since 2012.

Acosta resigned Jan. 3, after months of resisting pressure to step down.

Acosta pleaded guilty last March to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, admitting that she aided a scheme to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from a publicly-funded mental health clinic where she once worked.

But Acosta remained on the ballot, and court orders kept the case quiet until September, when The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about it. Acosta was re-elected in November, running unopposed.

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