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Judge Denies Former Jersey City Official’s Bid to Avoid Prison

A federal judge has rejected the final attempt of a former New Jersey deputy mayor to stay out of prison after a bribery conviction.

Leona Beldini (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Leona Beldini’s attorney had argued Tuesday she deserved a new trial because the government’s chief witness made improper statements during his testimony.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares denied the request in a ruling Tuesday afternoon.

Beldini was Jersey City’s deputy mayor when she was arrested in 2009 along with 43 others in a federal corruption and money laundering sting. She was convicted of bribery for taking money from a federal informant posing as a corrupt developer.

It’s unclear whether the ailing 77-year-old Beldini will report to prison as scheduled on Sunday to begin serving a three-year sentence.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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