NEWARK - Facing an increasingly indignant district judge, Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Germano said she wants 15-20 years, or the maximum penalty for former Newark Mayor Sharpe James.
"Your Honor, committing crimes does not come with an AARP card, this is not the movies," Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Germano said, referring to the 72-year old James. "He was healthy enough to travel to the Dominican Republic with Tamika Riley."
Judge William Martini objected to that last point, which is not part of this case, he argued. In an increasingly angry tone, he also challenged Germano’s more general references to James.
"You throw out a person’s entire history because of one instance in his life where he committed a wrong?" Martini wanted to know.Read More >
NEWARK - Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James approached the judge moments earlier and thanked him for his "professionalism" in the way he's run the trial.
"I would like to apologize to my wife (sons and mother)...for suffering they have had to endure," James said. "I would like to thank the citizens of Newark...we've become an extended family."
He insisted he did not mean any harm.
"I'm simply trying to make Newark a better place than I found it in 1986," said the former mayor. "If I made a mistake, Your Honor, it was not of malice. I would never do anything to hurt the people of Newark."Read More >
NEWARK - Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) submitted a letter to the court on behalf of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, part of which defense attorney Thomas Ashley read to U.S. District Judge William Martini.
"The events represent a brief period in a long and illustrious career," Turner wrote. "...I am convinced he is not likely to commit another offense."
The crime of fraud, said Turner, represented a departure from James’s otherwise distinguished public service as a teacher and elected official, in her view.
Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Mercer), Tuner's Republican state Senate colleague and fellow member of the Mercer County delegation, last week wrote a letter to Martini with three other GOP lawmakers, asking the judge to impose the maximum penalty.Read More >
Sentencing of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James is underway this morning at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building, where James hopes to avoid the maximum sentencing for fraud.
U.S. District Judge William Martini specified in his opening exchanges with prosecutors that James’s ex-girlfriend, Tamika Riley, successfully rehabilitated city housing properties in question, and the taxpayers experienced no financial loss.
But financial loss is not the issue, said the judge.
"There was a fraud here, and it involved (Ms. Riley) obtaining properties without knowledge by the public," Martini said. "...The failure of the mayor to disclose his relationship with Tamika Reilly is a deprivation of public services."Read More >
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WASHINGTON - JULY 28: Presumed Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) meets with some of his top economic advisors including (L-R) SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, Citi Group Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee Robert Rubin and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine at the Omni Shoreham hotel July 28, 2008 in Washington, DC. Obama called the two-hour meeting to discuss the current economic situation in the United States, including high gasoline prices and the collapse of the mortgage market. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
ORANGE - Battling criticism, Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., today backed down from receiving a $25,000 mayor’s salary on top of his existing salary as fire director, according to spokeswoman Linda Cofer Hawkins.
That thins Hawkins’s public salary to $79,700 for his jobs as fire director ($76,000) and emergency management coordinator ($3,700).
In a statement, the newly sworn-in mayor acknowledged the negative response caused by his initial designs on a $104,700 annual salary.Read More >
Don't count Gov. Chris Christie out as a presidential contender, argues a piece in U.S. News and World Report following the release of a Fox News poll.Read More >
Bergen Dems demand Donovan cancel fundraiser with Christie after unlimited contributions commentsHACKENSACK - Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato called on Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan to cancel a fundraiser scheduled for May 5 with Gov. Chris Christie after he made remarks on allowing unlimited campaign contributions to political...
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By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >
“The new agenda is charter schools. It’s a profit-making business. $500 million will not be in our hands. The school board is an advisory board. We are not going to tell the governor to unleash the dollars. Don’t be fooled. It’s not abracadabra. It’s politics.” - Paterson Mayor Jeff Jones- PolitickerNJ.com
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