On Wednesday (July 9th), former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other corruption that spanned his two terms as mayor – including the chaotic years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan handed down the sentence.
According to the Associated Press, the 58-year-old Democrat was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin’s support for various projects. The bribes came in the form of money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business.
He denied any wrongdoing after his 2013 indictment and during his February trial. Moments before sentencing, he made a brief statement, thanking the judge for her professionalism and telling the court:
I trust that God’s going to work all this out.
After the sentencing Nagin smiled and hugged supporters as he walked out of the courtroom with his wife, Seletha, and other family members and friends. Nagin is scheduled to report to the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, in September.
Nagin was alleged to have received roughly a half million dollars.
Nagin was a political newcomer when he won election as New Orleans’ mayor. Federal prosecutors say his own corrupt acts began during his first term, continued through the Katrina catastrophe and flourished in his second term.
Some suggest he was best known for a widely heard radio interview in which he angrily demanded federal response in the days after levee breaches flooded most of the city during Katrina. [Associated Press]