85-year-old Raphael Musto died this morning in his Luzerne County home. He had recently been released from a federal medical prison in North Carolina, where he was sent early this year after being declared unfit to stand trial.
Musto was charged for accepting cash and other perks for helping obtain taxpayer money for development projects. He had pleaded not guilty.
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa released the following statement:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out today to Senator Musto’s family and friends as we mourn his passing. Senator Musto was a champion of the environment, a legislative force and a friend who always had a kind word to help his colleagues during difficult times.
“Senator Musto was a lawmaker of depth, substance and compassion. He took time to learn issues and he used his experience and expertise to benefit the citizens of Luzerne County and Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“From legislation that established curbside recycling to Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener program and the landmark legislation to spur the development of abandoned industrial property, Senator Musto played a significant role in crafting environmental policy in his nearly 40 years in the legislature.
“During his long years of public service, he achieved a great deal for Northeastern Pennsylvania. His contributions will live on and his policy footprint will continue to guide future generations. Pennsylvania is a better place today because of Senator Ray Musto’s service.”