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Monday, March 3, 2008

Violating the Public Trust; New Jersey-style (MORE, CLICK HERE)

Lawyers plan dueling versions in James's corruption trial
The Newark Star-Ledger - March 03, 2008

The long-awaited corruption trial of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James is scheduled to begin in federal court today, with attorneys delivering dueling versions of the legendary politician's actions.

With James' legacy on the line, prosecutors will outline the charges against the onetime powerbroker, saying he arranged for the sale of city land at bargain prices to a female travel companion who quickly resold the property for nearly $700,000 in profit. Defense attorneys for James and the woman -- his co-defendent, Tamika Riley -- will counter with their side of the case.

Today's opening arguments will be heard by a jury of seven men and five women seated Friday. After four days of weeding through a pool of 247 people, U.S. District Judge William Martini selected the panel, which includes school teachers, a clerk, a computer programmer, a social worker and a postal employee, plus seven alternates. The trial is expected to last as long as three months.

At stake is the reputation of the seemingly invincible James, who spent two decades at the helm of New Jersey's largest city. James, 72, a Democrat who is also a former state senator, is accused of rigging Newark land deals for Riley, a 38-year-old publicist with no development experience who allegedly told authorities she had an "intimate relationship" with the married mayor. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which could send James to prison for more than seven years.

James' attorneys have argued that the mayor couldn't have misused his office because only the city council had the authority to approve land sales. They say the deals with Riley weren't unusual during a time when the rebuilding city was trying to accelerate development, and have not publicly addressed James' relationship with her. The five-term mayor will be in Martini's Newark courtroom today for the opening arguments.


Anonymous said...

why is it always about money with the politicians/judges/lawyers?? Disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

Money is all they care about. The whole system is set up for their personal gain.The Judges drag out the cases in order to help their buddies,the attorneys.The poor people that end up in their Den of corruption will be drained dry.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Isn't Ed Fagan from New Jersey too.

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2