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  Ex-Mayor of Newark Indicted in Corruption Case
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Last EditedArmyDem  Jul 12, 2007 10:52pm
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MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateSaturday, July 14, 2007 04:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Published: July 13, 2007

NEWARK, July 12 — Sharpe James, the former mayor who towered over politics in this city for two decades and was a charismatic if combative cheerleader as it struggled to regain businesses and middle-class residents, was indicted on Thursday on charges of using city credit cards for personal expenses and letting a companion buy municipal property for a fraction of its worth.

Mr. James, who built a patronage machine largely through cult of personality, is accused of illegally charging more than $58,000 on two city credit cards for Jacuzzi dips, alcohol, movies, meals and weekend getaways for tennis tournaments with friends.

The United States attorney for New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie, said the case against Mr. James contained “stark examples of the greed and arrogance of unchecked power.”

Mr. James also faces a charge of conspiring with one of his frequent travel partners, Tamika Riley, to defraud the city by selling her nine parcels of city land for $46,000 that she quickly resold for $665,000.

Mr. James, 71, was led in handcuffs and leg shackles into a courtroom just two blocks from the City Hall where he held power. Released later on $250,000 bail, he told reporters that his wrists were a bit sore from the cuffs, but that he was happy to be freed.

“I’m innocent of all these charges,” he said. “And I look forward to my day in court when the truth will come out.”
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