Judge considers motion to scrap ex-mayor verdict

July 2, 2008 1:14:13 PM PDT
A federal judge has decided to rule later in the month on whether to throw out the corruption convictions against former Newark Mayor Sharpe James. Lawyers for James and his one-time girlfriend were in court Wednesday and told U.S. District Judge William J. Martini that evidence during the five-week trial was insufficient.

Prosecutors countered that they presented ample evidence and that both James and Tamika Riley benefited from the arrangement.

Martini says he probably will rule July 23 and that if he does not toss the verdicts he will then hear pre-sentencing motions.

James and Riley were convicted in April and are scheduled to be sentenced July 29 on charges that centered on her cut-rate purchase of city land while James was mayor.