The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 26, 2012

Failing health won't delay ex-lawmaker's trial


The Associated Press

WILKES-BARRE — A federal judge has ordered a retired Pennsylvania state senator to stand trial next month, denying his request to dismiss the charges because the stress of a trial could kill him.

U.S. District Judge Richard Caputo says jury selection will begin Nov. 26 in the corruption trial of former state Sen. Raphael Musto.

The 83-year-old Musto had sought a dismissal or indefinite trial delay, citing a life-threatening liver disease.

Caputo says the Luzerne County Democrat can have a medical professional on hand during proceedings and steps can be taken to minimize his fatigue.

Authorities say Musto accepted free building renovations and cash in return for his help obtaining taxpayer funding of development projects. He's also accused of accepting money for helping a municipality get state loans.