Ex-mayor avoids 20-year sentence, gets 27 months

Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months behind bars for corruption, avoiding the much longer sentence prosecutors were pushing for.

James and his former mistress were found guilty in April for their involvement in real estate deals involving city-owned properties during the former mayor's time in office.

The sentence is much less than the 20 years prosecutors wanted. James' lawyers had been asking for probation.

Tamika Riley, James' former mistress, was sentenced to 15 months for her involvement in the scandal.

James was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, but U.S. District Judge William Martini ordered that no restitution be paid to the city. According to Martini's ruling, Newark was not affected financially by the dealing between James and Riley.

Riley was hit financially as well, being ordered to repay $27,000 for cheating on a federal housing subsidy.

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