Turner calls for leniency in James case

NEWARK – Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) submitted a letter to the court on behalf of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, part of which defense attorney Thomas Ashley read to U.S. District Judge William Martini.

"The events represent a brief period in a long and illustrious career," Turner wrote. "…I am convinced he is not likely to commit another offense."

The crime of fraud, said Turner, represented a departure from James’s otherwise distinguished public service as a teacher and elected official, in her view.

Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Mercer), Tuner's Republican state Senate colleagueand fellow member ofthe Mercer County delegation, last week wrote a letter to Martini with three other GOP lawmakers, askingthe judge to imposethe maximum penalty.

Father of three sons, James's eldest son is currently serving in a National Guard unit in the Middle East, Ashley noted, as he continued to argue for why the judge shouldn't unduly punish James.

Turner calls for leniency in James case