A Pennsylvania state judge agreed Monday that more than 300 criminal charges facing ex-Harrisburg mayor Stephen Reed for diverting funds away from a municipal incinerator project to purchase artifacts and other memorabilia were too old to proceed to trial.

Senior Judge Kevin Hess ruled that a provision of state law extending the statute of limitations on crimes committed by public officials could not apply to Reed’s case because the charges were not brought within the required five-year window since the former mayor left office.

"The charges against the defendant were not filed during the five years after he left office," the judge’s opinion said. "Thus, by virtue of what we regard as the clear language of the statute, there is no triggering of an extension of the period of limitation in this case."

There are an additional 144 counts still pending in the case related to artifacts purchased with money diverted into a special projects fund.

Henry Hockeimer, an attorney with Ballard Spahr LLP representing Reed, said he was pleased with the decision. "This was an ill-conceived prosecution from the start," he said. "We look forward to vigorously contesting the remaining charges at trial."