Former Newark Mayor Guilty of Fraud

Sharpe James sold cheap city land to his mistress
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 11:30 AM CDT
Sharpe James arrives at the federal courthouse in Newark, Monday, March 3, 2008, with his attorney Thomas Ashley, left.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
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(Newser) – Sharpe James, who was the mayor of Newark, NJ, for two decades, has been convicted of fraud by a federal jury. James conspired to sell city lots on the cheap to his mistress, who then sold them for hundreds of thousands in profit, reports the Star-Ledger. James and the former mistress, Tamika Riley, were both found guilty on all counts, and could spend several years behind bars.

Riley paid the city $46,000 for six lots between 2001 and 2005, reselling them quickly for a total of $665,000. Neither James nor Riley testified during the trial. The married former mayor was one of the state's top Democratic powerbrokers until he decided not to run for re-election 2 years ago. He may still face another trial, for spending $58,000 of city money on lavish personal expenses, including vacations with Riley and other women, the Star-Ledger reports.