Sharpe James Fatigue Watch:
New York Times: An Ex-Mayor Holds Hope 2 Witnesses Are Enough
Lawyers for Mr. James, who is married, have tried to blunt the prosecution’s case with testimony that the mayor did not pressure anyone in city government to sell the properties to Ms. Riley. For her part, Ms. Riley’s defense has centered on what her lawyers have suggested was bad advice from a circle of consultants whom she had retained. On Thursday, a lawyer who handled the closings for seven of the properties that Ms. Riley had purchased acknowledged that he had little experience handling real estate matters.
It remains to be seen if the jury buys this total lack of controls and accountability in James’ City Hall. Frankly, institutional incompetence while implementing a program with dubious monitoring strikes me as a really plausible defense. James’ poor performance as mayor in this regard, unfortunately for Newarkers, is not a criminal charge.
Riley’s defense with regard to tax evasion, on the other hand, seems pretty shabby — I can’t imagine talking yourself out of not reporting over $600k in profit to the IRS.