Judge: New Jersey US prosecutors too focused on convictions

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 17, 2016 3:02 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal judge has sharply rebuked federal prosecutors in New Jersey, saying they're more focused on getting convictions than pursuing tougher punishments.

The Record (http://bit.ly/2bHy6by ) reports U.S. District Judge William Walls scolded the U.S. attorney's office in Newark for what he called a pattern of seeking lighter sentences for those who plead guilty in corruption cases.

Walls' comments came Wednesday during a sentencing hearing for Leovaldo Fundora.

Fundora pleaded guilty to conspiring with Union City officials to steal federal housing money and faced up to 10 years in prison.

But prosecutors recommended a much lighter sentence. So Walls sentenced Fundora to three years' probation and ordered him to pay about $75,000 in restitution and fines.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

___

Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com