Former Newark deputy mayor loses appeal in bid-rigging case

By Ted Sherman | The Star-Ledger
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on September 03, 2014

File photo of former Newark Deputy Mayor Ronald Salahuddin, whose bid to reverse his conviction was denied.


Ronald Salahuddin — a one-time top aide to former Newark Mayor Cory Booker — lost his bid today seeking to reverse a 2011 conviction involving the rigging of city demolition contracts.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, without comment, affirmed the judgment against the former deputy mayor, who was sentenced in 2013 to a year in prison and was only recently released.

Salahuddin, who served as deputy mayor for public safety, was charged with steering demotion contracts to a business partner after joining Booker’s administration. After a month-long trial in federal court in Trenton, Salahuddin was convicted in October 2011 of conspiring to commit extortion.

In his appeal, he argued he was unfairly drawn into a plot by government prosecutors eager to tarnish him. His attorneys claimed his conviction should be set aside because the court improperly instructed the jury and said the government “engaged in shocking, outrageous, and intolerable behavior,” selectively prosecuting Salahuddin because he was black.

The arguments, which were initially rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Freda Wolfson, who presided over the trial, did not sway the appeals court, which affirmed the decision in the case.

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