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Former Paterson Mayor Who Served Prison Sentence Dies

Main Street - Paterson, NJ (file / credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Main Street – Paterson, NJ (file / credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former Paterson, N.J., mayor who was jailed on federal tax evasion and mail fraud charges has died at the age of 64.

Martin Barnes, who was the first black mayor of Paterson, died Friday at his home in Pennsylvania the Record newspaper reported. New Jersey Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, who served in Barnes’ administration, confirmed the death but did not have more information.

Barnes entered politics as a tenant activist and served on the City Council before he became mayor.

He left office after pleading guilty in 2002 to charges stemming from an indictment that accused him of accepting $200,000 in gifts from contractors who did business with the city. Prosecutors said the gifts included expensive clothes, a swimming pool and overseas trips.

Barnes served a 32-month sentence in federal prison.

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