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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ex-Cop, Convicted of Perjury, Escapes Jail

James Sutera, ex-cop convicted of perjury, escapes jail time because he's 'suffered enough'
The New York Daily News by Melissa Grace - August 11, 2010

An ex-cop convicted of perjury avoided jail time Wednesday when a Manhattan judge said he'd "suffered enough." Instead, he was sentenced to five years probation for lying about offering to help a co-worker cheat on an exam to become a Waterfront Commission detective. Sutera, who was also accused of cheating on the exam, vows to appeal. His lawyer says he's a low-level fall guy in a wider corruption investigation. "Not a single executive from that place faced any charges at all, they all walked away with their nice pensions and their reputations intact. They're probably on some beach," he said of the former commission brass. The charges against Sutera were the only ones that resulted from a two-year investigation of the commission by the state Inspector General's office. While he was convicted of one perjury count, the jury cleared Sutera of charges he also lied when he told probers he didn't cheat and didn't get test answers from ex-Jersey Commissioner Michael Madonna. Madonna - who was fired in August 2009 by the- Gov. Jon Corzine after a report showed rampant corruption at the commission - was never charged. Prosecutors demanded Sutera be caged to show the justice system is tough on cops who commit perjury. The judge disagreed. "I do believe you've suffered enough because of this case," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Bruce Allen told Sutera.

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