Better late than never
Former state Sen. Raphael Musto of Luzerne County is entitled to his day in court and, finally, the U.S. Middle District Court will make sure he has it, Jan. 6.
Mr. Musto, 84, was indicted in November 2010 - nearly three years ago - on three counts of fraud, two counts of bribery and two counts of making false statements to investigators. A grand jury alleged that Mr. Musto, while a senator, accepted $40,000 in cash and free construction services in exchange for supporting state funding for four development projects.
Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo rejected Mr. Musto's request for an indefinite postponement of a trial due to health issues, finding that Mr. Musto is "physically competent to stand trial at the present time."
Recently the Third Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear an appeal of Judge Caputo's ruling, saying that should Mr. Musto be convicted, he theoretically could raise whether he was able to effectively assist his defense counsel at trial.
Meanwhile, the charges against Mr. Musto allege a serious abuse of the public trust - a claim that should be resolved at trial as a matter of justice and public accountability.