Ex-New Orleans mayor jailed for corruption

Last updated 08:07 10/07/2014
CROOK: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin leaves court after being sentenced to 10 years.

Relevant offers


Hillary Clinton: No US combat troops in Syria to fight Islamic State Mayor of Alaska's remote capital Greg Fisk found dead US father of missing boy held after remains found in barn Man taken as a baby in Argentina finds long-lost mum For sale: One South Dakota ghost town Mum convicted of killing her three daughters Suspect in Colorado clinic shooting told he faces murder charge Torched van belonged to missing Australian in Mexico 'World's oldest bird' is back, and she's ready to mate The mystery disappearance of Beverly Giannonatti, her son and an 11kg gold bar

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for corruption during the critical years of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.

A jury in February found Nagin, a Democrat, guilty on charges including bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion.

Nagin, 58, stirred national controversy with his erratic behaviour after Katrina breached floodwalls and inundated New Orleans in 2005, killing at least 1500 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.

Citing Nagin's devotion to family and commitment to helping New Orleans, US District Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan said a shorter prison term than that recommended under federal sentencing guidelines was warranted.

She ordered Nagin to turn himself in to begin serving his sentence by September 8. With good behaviour, and barring any appeals, Nagin could get out of prison after about 8-1/2 years.

Berrigan also ordered Nagin, who prosecutors say accepted bribes valued at more than US$500,000 (NZ$566,760), to pay about US$84,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Addressing reporters outside the courtroom, prosecutor Matthew Coman, who had sought a stiffer sentence, thanked community members who had come forward to help the prosecution build its case.

"What Ray Nagin did was sell his office," Coman said, as supporters of the former mayor sought to shout him down.

During the 10-day trial, prosecutors portrayed Nagin as a mayor on the take, granting favours for bribes that included tons of free granite delivered to a kitchen countertop company he ran with his sons.

Nagin, a former cable TV executive elected in 2002 on a promise of running an ethical government and re-elected four years later, made no apologies in a brief courtroom statement in which he thanked the judge for her professionalism.

Nagin, who has never acknowledged taking bribes, declined to comment as he left the courthouse.

His attorney, Robert Jenkins, said after February's guilty verdict that Nagin would appeal his conviction.

Any appeal will likely be complicated by the defence not moving during the trial to have the evidence against Nagin ruled too weak for a conviction, said Herbert Larson, an expert on federal criminal law at the Tulane University Law School.

Such motions are crucial for revisiting those arguments on appeal, he said.

Ad Feedback

"I don't think there are many if any viable avenues for an appeal for Ray Nagin," Larson said.

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content