Sharpe James Returns to Newark

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

After spending 18 months in a Virginia federal prison, the man who ruled Newark for more than 20 years is back. Sharpe James arrived on a Greyhound bus last night in Newark. James was convicted of fraud in 2006.

Clement Price, a history professor at Rutgers Newark, has known James for years. He says some people are cheering his return, but that "there will be others who will associate Sharpe James with an old Newark. That is demographically part of Newark's past and not its future."

James will serve the last nine months of his 27-month sentence in a halfway house. James is also appealing his conviction.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was the US attorney who prosecuted James. Today, Christie said James should've gotten a longer sentence, but that James has paid his debt to society and Christie wishes the former mayor a "happy and productive life."

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