Ray Musto

Last updated
Raphael Musto
Ray Musto circa 1980.jpg
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 14th district
In office
January 4, 1983 November 30, 2010
Preceded by Martin Murray
Succeeded by John Yudichak
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th district
In office
April 9, 1980 January 3, 1981
Preceded by Daniel J. Flood
Succeeded by James Nelligan
Member of the PennsylvaniaHouseofRepresentatives
from the 118th district
In office
January 5, 1971 April 15, 1980 [1]
Preceded by James Musto
Succeeded by Thomas Tigue
Personal details
Born(1929-03-30)March 30, 1929
Pittston, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 24, 2014(2014-04-24) (aged 85)
Pittston, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Frances Panzetta Musto
Residence Pittston, Pennsylvania

Raphael John Musto (March 30, 1929 – April 24, 2014) was an American politician from Pennsylvania who served as a Democratic Party member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district from 1980 to 1981. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 118th district from 1971 to 1980 and of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 14th district from 1982 until his retirement in 2010.


Early life and education

Musto was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania and graduated from Pittston Township High School. He served in the United States Army from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War. [2] He graduated from Kings College in Wilkes-Barre in 1971. [3]


When his father, longtime State Representative James Musto, died in 1971, the younger Musto won a special election to fill his seat. He was elected to a full term in 1972 and was reelected three times.

In 1980, longtime Congressman Dan Flood, who had represented Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district for most of the time since 1945, resigned after being censured for bribery. Musto won a four-way special election for the remainder of Flood's term. He ran for a full term later that year, but was narrowly defeated by Republican challenger James Nelligan, whom Musto had defeated in the special election.

While in Congress, Musto met with undercover FBI agents posing as representatives of a fictitious Middle Eastern Sheik known as the ABSCAM sting operation. Musto declined an implied bribe from the FBI agents and was never charged in the investigation. [4]

Musto was elected to the state Senate in 1982 and was reelected six times, representing a district consisting of Wilkes-Barre and portions of the Poconos. He did not seek re-election in 2010, choosing instead to retire at the end of his term. [5]

On November 23, 2010, a federal grand jury issued a six-count indictment against Musto, charging him with accepting more than $28,000 from an unnamed company and individual in exchange for his help in obtaining grants and funding. Musto was also charged with accepting $3,000 from another unnamed individual in a separate incident. [6] Musto denied any wrongdoing. [7] The trial was delayed multiple times due to Musto's declining health.

Musto was released from a federal medical prison in North Carolina in April 2014. He had been declared mentally unfit to stand trial and was diagnosed with advanced stage lymph-node cancer while being treated at the prison. [8] He died at his home in Pittston on April 24 [9] and is interred at Pittston City Cemetery. [10]

The criminal case against him was dismissed posthumously on April 30, 2014 by Federal Judge A. Richard Caputo.

Related Research Articles

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania City and County seat in Pennsylvania, United States

Wilkes-Barre is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Luzerne County. It is one of the principal cities in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located at the center of the Wyoming Valley, it is second in size to the nearby city of Scranton. The Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 563,631 as of the 2010 Census, making it the fourth-largest metro/statistical area in the state of Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding Wyoming Valley are framed by the Pocono Mountains to the east, the Endless Mountains to the north and west, and the Lehigh Valley to the south. The Susquehanna River flows through the center of the valley and defines the northwestern border of the city.

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania County in Pennsylvania

Luzerne County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 890 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) is water. It is Northeastern Pennsylvania's second-largest county by total area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 320,918, making it the most populous county in the northeastern part of the state. The county seat and largest city is Wilkes-Barre. Other populous communities include Hazleton, Kingston, Nanticoke, and Pittston. Luzerne County is included in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a total population of 555,426.

Kingston, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Kingston is a borough in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located on the western bank of the Susquehanna River opposite Wilkes-Barre City. Kingston was first settled in the early 1770s; it was later incorporated as a borough in 1857. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,182, making it the most populous borough in the county.

Pittston, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

Pittston is a city in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is situated between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The city gained prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as an active anthracite coal mining city, drawing a large portion of its labor force from European immigrants. The population was 7,739 as of the 2010 census, making it the fourth largest city in Luzerne County. At its peak in 1920, the population of Pittston was 18,497. The city consists of three sections: The Downtown, the Oregon Section, and the Junction. Pittston City is at the heart of the Greater Pittston region. Greater Pittston has a total population of 48,020.

Pittston Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Township in Pennsylvania, United States

Pittston Township is a township in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,368 as of the 2010 census. The township is located within the Greater Pittston region. As of 2010, the total population of Greater Pittston was 48,020. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is located in Pittston Township.

Paul Kanjorski American politician

Paul Edmund Kanjorski is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district from 1985 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Thomas M. Tigue was a United States Marine Corps Officer and combat veteran, an American politician, a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Charles F. Dougherty United States Marine

Charles Francis Dougherty is an American politician from Pennsylvania who served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district from 1979 to 1983.

Hendrick Bradley Wright American politician

Hendrick Bradley Wright was a Democratic and Greenback member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Greater Pittston Region in Pennsylvania, United States

Greater Pittston is a 65.35 sq mi (169.25 km²) region in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in reference to the area in and around Pittston. As of 2010, the total population of Greater Pittston is 48,020. This region includes Avoca, Dupont, Duryea, Exeter Boro, Exeter Township, Hughestown, Jenkins Township, Laflin, Pittston Township, West Pittston, West Wyoming, Wyoming, and Yatesville.

Pennsylvania State Senate District 3 includes parts of Philadelphia County. It includes the following areas:

Dan Meuser American businessman and politician

Daniel P. Meuser is an American businessman and politician who serves as the U.S Representative in Pennsylvania's 9th congressional district. A Republican, he previously served as the Secretary of Revenue in the cabinet of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. He was previously President of the Pride Mobility Corporation, a manufacturer of motorized wheelchairs in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton metro area of Pennsylvania, and currently serves the company as a board member and consultant. He has previously testified before Congress regarding the criticality for federal practices surrounding rights and caring for the disabled. In November 2018, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 120

The 120th Pennsylvania House of Representatives District is located in Luzerne County and has been represented by Aaron Kaufer since 2015. The district includes the following areas:

John T. Yudichak is an American politician from Pennsylvania currently serving as an Independent member of the Pennsylvania State Senate for 14th District since 2011. The district includes parts of Carbon, Luzerne, and Monroe Counties. He previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 119th district from 1999 to 2010.

Kids for cash scandal Judicial kickbacks case in Pennsylvania

The "kids for cash" scandal centered on judicial kickbacks to two judges at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 2008, judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella were accused of accepting money in return for imposing harsh adjudications on juveniles to increase occupancy at for-profit detention centers.

Louis Carl Johanson was an American politician from Pennsylvania who served as a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate for the 3rd district from 1965 to 1966. He served as a member of the Philadelphia City Council from 1968 to 1981. He was convicted for bribery and conspiracy during the Abscam sting operation and served three years in prison.

Samuel W. Frank was a former Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania

The 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, to elect the 18 U.S. Representatives from the state of Pennsylvania, a loss of one seat following the 2010 United States Census. The elections coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including a quadrennial presidential election and an election to the U.S. Senate. Primary elections were held Tuesday, April 24.

Matt Cartwright American politician and attorney

Matthew Alton Cartwright is an American politician and attorney who has served as the United States Representative for Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district since 2013. The district, numbered as the 17th district from 2013 through 2019, includes a large swath of northeastern Pennsylvania, anchored by Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and the Poconos. A member of the Democratic Party, Cartwright defeated 10-term incumbent Blue Dog Tim Holden, the Dean of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation, in the Democratic primary on April 24, 2012, by a 57%-43% margin. Cartwright went on to defeat Republican Laureen Cummings in the general election on November 6, 2012, by a 61%-39% margin. As an attorney, Cartwright previously worked at the law firm of Munley, Munley, and Cartwright.

Aaron Kaufer is the Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 120th district. Kaufer ran for the first time in 2012 against the then-incumbent Mundy, losing 56% to 43%. He ran again and was elected for the first time on November 4, 2014, defeating Democrat Eileen Cipriani with 56% of the vote; Representative Phyllis Mundy had previously announced her retirement. Kaufer was reelected in 2016 with 68% of the vote against Democrat Robert McDonald. He was reelected for a third term in 2018 unopposed.


  1. Cox, Harold (November 3, 2004). "Pennsylvania House of Representatives - 1979-1980" (PDF). Wilkes University Election Statistics Project . Wilkes University.
  2. "Senator Raphael J. Musto Obituary". www.legacy.com. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  3. "Pennsylvania State Senate - Raphael John Musto". www.legis.state.pa.us. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  4. "ABSCAM couldn't nail Musto". www.timesleader.com. 2015-06-23. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  5. O'Boyle, Bill (November 18, 2010). "A final bow for 2 area legislative titans". Times Leader . Archived from the original on November 21, 2010.
  6. Morgan-Besecker, Terrie (November 23, 2010). "Grand jury indicts Sen. Raphael Musto for allegedly accepting kickbacks". Times Leader . Archived from the original on November 24, 2010.
  7. Mocarsky, Steve (November 23, 2010). "Musto denies any wrongdoing". Times Leader . Archived from the original on November 24, 2010.
  8. "Ex-state Sen. Raphael Musto, 85, dies not long after being released from prison for medical reasons". www.pennlive.com. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  9. DuPuis, Roger (April 24, 2014). "Musto dead at 85". Times Leader . Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  10. "Rapheael John "Ray" Musto". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Daniel J. Flood
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
James L. Nelligan