Tuesday, August 12, 2008
EX-NEWARK MAYOR SENTENCED TO 27 MONTHS IN PRISON
Sharpe James, Newark, New Jersey's former mayor, recently was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison and ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 for charges on corruption. Before sentencing, James apologized for his wrongdoing. "I would like to apologize to my wife of 44 years and my mother, who is 94, for the hardship and suffering they have had to endure," he said. "I made a mistake. I'm a human being." Prosecutors charges that James, 72, abused his office and betrayed his constituents by arranging for the sale of nine city-owned properties for $46,000 to his one-time mistress Tamika Riley, 39, from 2001 to 2005. Riley quickly sold the property for $665,000 without ever starting the required rehabilitation work on most of them, prosecutors said. Riley, who cleared more than $430,000 from the properties, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $27,000 in a housing subsidy. The penalties from U.S. District Judge William J. Martini, a former federal prosecutor, were far less than the 15-to-20-year range requested by the U.S. Attorney's Office.