Ray Nagin, Former New Orleans Mayor, Found Guilty Of Corruption
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was found guilty of 20 counts of conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and tax fraud on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Nagin first took office in 2002 and kept his position as New Orleans mayor until 2010. He was indicted on corruption charges in January of 2013. Accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from various businesses who desired tax breaks or city contracts, Nagin maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and trial and his lawyer announced that he would be appealing the court’s guilty verdict.
“Obviously, I’m surprised. Now we’re moving on to the appeal process,” defense attorney Robert Jenkins told the press following the verdict.
Nagin Found Guilty Of Bribery, Conspiracy, Fraud
Nagin was found guilty on one count of conspiracy, five counts of bribery, nine counts of honest services wire fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy and four counts of filing false tax returns. Those 20 counts include one charge of accepting a $60,000 bribe from engineering firlm, Three Fold Consulting, and dolling out “favorable treatment” during his tenure as Mayor to multiple companies, most often receiving at least $12,000 as payment. Nagin was found not guilty of only one of the 21 counts brought against him in court and could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
Nagin insists he is innocent, and his defense tried to paint him as a scapegoat during the trial, as many of the witnesses brought against him by the prosecution were businessmen who had already pleaded guilty to bribing the former mayor.
Things were not going well for Nagin after the witnesses took the stand, and he tried to redeem his case by taking the stand himself, but it did little to help in him the end as the jurors delivered a unanimous verdict.
Nagin will return to his home in Frisco, Tex., while he awaits sentencing and is expected to be held under house arrest.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong