Newark Clerk Denies Certification of Former Mayor Sharpe James

By Max Pizarro | March 3, 2022

Insider NJ

Newark City Clerk Kenneth Louis this evening informed former Newark Mayor Sharpe James that James will not appear on the May 10th ballot as an at-large candidate for the city council.

In defiance of a court order preventing him from ever again holding public elected office, James, 86, sought and received petitions to run this year in the citywide election, but Louis challenged him.

“A question arose regarding your ability to hold office,” the clerk wrote in a letter dated today, May 3rd, to the former mayor, convicted in 2008 of fraud. According to the state Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice, James’ offenses involved dishonesty, equivalent to third degree crimes under New Jersey law.

The former mayor pushed back, noting his accomplishments in public office and a public statement at his trial by Judge William Martini, who told federal prosecutors he rejected their contention that aggravating factors merited a sentence of 15 to 20 years for James.

But Louis stood firm.

“I referred this matter to my elections attorney who provided me with a copy of the July 11th, 2008 court order by the Honorable Linda R. Feinberg of the Superior Court of New Jersey,” the clerk wrote in his letter to the former mayor. “Judge Feinberg made it clear in her order that you may not hold public office.”

James maintained that the order does not specify his ability to refrain from running for office, noting the difference between running and holding, and said a U.S. Supreme Court decision overrules Judge Feinberg.

Louis didn’t but it.

Pursuant to Feinberg’s order, “and upon the advice of my elections attorney, I must declare your petitions to be defective and I will not certify you to be placed on the ballot for the Office of Council Member At-Large in the May 10, 2022 Newark Municipal Election,” the clerk wrote.

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-03-04 03:27:43 -0800