Newark, NJ, Mayor Sharpe James, Who is Charged with Misuse of Campaign Funds, says Black People ‘Have No Justice in New Jersey’

Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James at Mayor Steven Fulop 2nd Annual Jersey City Prisoner Reentry Conference "The Prisoner's Story" at St. Peters University in Jersey City, NJ 4/2/15 (William Perlman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James at Mayor Steven Fulop 2nd Annual Jersey City Prisoner Reentry Conference “The Prisoner’s Story” at St. Peters University in Jersey City, NJ 4/2/15 (William Perlman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

 

Calling the New Jersey Supreme Court and other state officials “mere pawns” of Gov. Chris Christie, former Newark Mayor Sharpe James on Wednesday railed against the court’s decision to not hear an appeal over his use of campaign funds to pay legal expenses in a criminal probe.

James also suggested the ruling by the state’s highest court was an act of racial discrimination against him.

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling and remarks of the NJ Attorney General proves unequivocally that they are afraid of and tools of Gov. Christopher Christie and an African American has no justice in New Jersey,” James wrote in a series of emails to NJ Advance Media.

State officials declined to comment on James’s criticism.

James had asked the Supreme Court to consider his appeal after an appellate panel in January upheld a lower court’s ruling that he violated state campaign finance laws by using about $94,000 in campaign cash to cover legal bills in the criminal case that ultimately sent him to federal prison.

That ruling was initially handed down in August 2012 as part of a lawsuit filed against James and others in 2011 by the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

In his petition to the Supreme Court, James alleged ELEC’s position in his case was inconsistent with how it allowed Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign to use its funds in response to subpoenas in investigations related to the closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

James claimed in an email that the disparate treatment represents a “‘double standard,’ grossly unfair and un-American in its worst form.”

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SOURCE: Bill Wichert
NJ.com

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