When a San Mateo County judge accepted Democratic financier Norman Hsu’s no-contest plea on a grand theft charge 15 years ago, nearly everyone expected Hsu would return to court a few weeks later and be sentenced to three years in prison by that same judge.

Instead, the defendant went on the lam in 1992. Veteran judge Aram Serverian retired in 2000.

Now that Hsu is finally back in court, his attorney says the old plea agreement should be tossed out because Serverian is unavailable to impose the sentence.

That’s an audacious move.