Statement of United States Attorney Peter Smith Concerning the Decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the Case of United States of America V. Anthony Munchak and Robert Cordaro
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 31, 2013|
Today, the Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of former Lackawanna County Commissioners Cordaro and Munchak. The court also upheld the enhancement of Munchak’s sentence for obstruction of justice. The court rejected Cordaro’s arguments that the indictment failed to allege essential elements and that the government had conducted an improper cross examination of the defendant at trial.
The government’s position is and always has been that the only improper conduct here was that of Cordaro and Munchak while they were public officials.
The court remanded a portion of the case to the District Court to resolve a question concerning part of the restitution Cordaro was ordered to pay. We are reviewing the court’s order to determine the government’s response.
The investigation and prosecution were conducted with skill and dedication by a team of agents from the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigations and Assistant United States Attorneys Lorna Graham, Bruce Brandler, and William Houser, assisted by Criminal Division Chief Christian Fisanick and Criminal Division Appeals Chief Stephen Cerutti.
Overall the verdict of the jury, the sentences and the judgments of the courts constitute a strong condemnation of the corrupt abuse of power by Munchak and Cordaro. Hopefully, they will serve as a strong and lasting warning to others.