GOP senators call for maximum sentencing for James

A week before former Newark Mayor (and state senator) Sharpe James is scheduled to to be sentenced in federal court, five state senators are requesting the maximum sentencing.

"We implore you," state senators Bill Baroni (R-Mercer), Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), Gerald Cardinale (R-Begen), Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), and Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex), saidin a co-authoredletter sent this morning to U.S. District Judge William Martini.

"I was surprised to see Sharpe James's attorney advocating for lesser sentencing," said Beck. "This is a mayor who openly abused his power in office. We are at a low point in terms of public trust, and if citizens don't believe in their public officials it erodes our ability to administer our democracy."

According to the Star-Ledger, James's attorneys plan to meet with Martini on Wednesday to urge him to impose far less than a decade in prison on the 72-year old former mayor, who was convicted earlier this year on corruption charges.

"The fraud must stop," the senators wrote in their three-paragraph letter to the judge. "The greed must stop. The only way for integrity and trust in government to be restored is for the public to witness that public officials are not above the law and will pay the heaviest price for breaking the law and violating their public duties."

Martini has scheduled James's sentencing for July 29. GOP senators call for maximum sentencing for James