Convictions upheld for ex-Newark mayor, mistress

A federal judge upheld the corruption convictions of ex-Newark Mayor Sharpe James and his former mistress Tamika Riley Wednesday.

The pair made last-ditch efforts to have their guilty verdicts thrown out to make way for a retrial. Riley and James were found guilty of corruption in April for a real-estate deal that abused the mayor's office and defrauded Newark.

The jury found James guilty of steering transactions involving city-owned property toward his mistress. Riley then sold the properties she bought without making city-mandated repairs.

James and Riley are scheduled for sentencing July 29. Prosecutors are seeking between 15 and 20 years for the former mayor and eight to 10 years for Riley.

U.S. District Judge William Martini indicated the proposed sentence for James is excessive and that a sentence of about 10 to 12 years would be more appropriate. Martini also called the sentence prosecutors are seeking "shocking."

Prosecutors also want the pair to pay restitution to the city, but defense lawyers say Newark did not lose any money from their dealings.

Victims of ex-mayor's corruption get some satisfaction Sharpe James found guilty of corruption

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