EDISON - An Essex County Superior Court judge has ruled that former Newark Mayor and state Sen. Sharpe James violated state campaign finance laws when he took money from a campaign account to pay for criminal defense costs.

The judge ordered James to reimburse $94,004 to the campaign fund and pay a $30,000 fine.

The suit alleged that James spent the money in connection with an investigation led by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the New Jersey Attorney General's office. James was indicted, and subsequently convicted in federal court on April 16, 2008.