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from NY Daily News

Former Newark mayor Sharpe James was convicted Wednesday of selling city property at bargain basement prices to his ex-mistress – who then peddled them for a huge profit.

James, a powerful politician who ran this long-suffering city for 20 years, was found guilty on all five corruption charges he faced, including fraud and conspiracy.

Former girlfriend Tamika Riley was convicted on those charges and the eight others she faced, including evading taxes and cheating to obtain subsidized housing assistance for herself.

Prosecutors charged that James abused his office and betrayed Newark residents by arranging for the sale of nine city-owned properties for $46,000 to Riley from 2001 to 2005.

Riley, a publicist half James’ age who once ran a clothing boutique near City Hall, quickly sold them for $665,000 without even attempting to fix them up, prosecutors said.

James, 72, and Riley, 39, stood stone-faced as the jury foreman spoke the word “guilty” 22 times.

Afterward, James left the courtroom without a word. When he reached the lobby, he kissed his wife on the cheek — then fled the courthouse via a back entrance.

James and Riley both face seven to eight years in prison when they are sentenced on July 29.

It took the jury six days to reach their verdict.

James still faces federal charges he used city-issued credit cards to pay for $58,000 worth of personal expenses while he was mayor.

Among other things, James allegedly used city money to take several other women to Martha’s Vineyard, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Rio de Janeiro.

Miss NJ:  I wish I was still speaking to the chick I’m not speaking to.  She talked so much trash about Corey Booker being a sell-out and not for the people of Newark.  She called Sharpe, Newark’s only hope.  I would love to know what she’s calling him now.  And that’s a hard looking 39 right there.


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