Friday, July 13, 2007

Former Newark Mayor Charged with Corruption

Former Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Sharpe James and a person with whom he had a personal relationship were charged in a 33-count indictment with mail/wire fraud, corruption, housing fraud, and tax charges.  The wide-ranging indictment (here) includes pages listing improper payments for personal trips with a city credit card provided to James, and property transactions in which his co-defendant purchased property from the city and then flipped it at a much higher price.  The credit charges range from $11.25 at a hotel in the Bahamas to over $2,000 for hotel reservations on Martha's Vineyard over Labor Day, totaling over $58,000 according to the indictment.  James left the Mayor's office in 2006 after five terms, but in a quirk that appears to be unique to New Jersey, he also served since 1999 as a member of the state Senate, from which he is retiring after this year.  An Asbury Park Press article (here) discusses the charges.  (ph)

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