There’s no more shameless creature than a power-hungry New Jersey politician. And none seems as shameless this week as the former mayor of Newark, Sharpe James.

He was a five-time mayor of Brick City but left in disgrace. He was convicted of fraud in federal court in 2008 having conspired to rig the sale of city property, 9 lots in all, to his mistress (he denied it was his mistress) for her to then resell. Tamika Riley made hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit from the scheme. He served 18 months in federal prison for the crime.

That same year a judge ordered that James was “forever disqualified from holding any office or position of honor.” Now at 86 years old, he’s been fighting to win a seat on the Newark City Council.

First he filed a lawsuit to get on the ballot but City Clerk Kenneth Louis refused to certify the candidacy based on the 2008 disqualifying order. The fight continues this week with a hearing on whether ballot drawing ought to be delayed.

This is the same Sharpe James who recently made news for a bizarre slow-motion car accident last month in Newark. It ended with someone pinned beneath his car according to police.

Authorities say James in slow speed ran head-on into an oncoming vehicle, then reversed across the whole intersection almost colliding with an NJ Transit bus. Next police say he jumped the curb in his 2009 Cadillac and pinned a male pedestrian beneath his vehicle. Authorities say James seemed confused and unaware of having pinned someone.

What a sad ending to have a doddering 86-year-old man still fighting for a power position. Contrition is clearly not part of this guy’s skill set.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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