Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Breaking: Former New Orleans Mayor Nagin Convicted

The former mayor of New Orleans could be headed to prison.

A jury has just returned guilty verdicts on 20 of the 21 counts of corruption and bribery that Ray Nagin faced in a nine-day trial.

Nagin, 57, could be sentenced to as much as two decades in a federal penitentiary. Prosecutors used 26 witnesses and reams of documents to detail how Nagin accepted more than $500,000 in payouts, including first-class trips to Jamaica and Manhattan, in exchange for millions of dollars in city contracts.

Writes USA Today:
What makes Nagin's case unique is that it occurred amid one of the worst catastrophes to hit a U.S. city. The floods unleashed by faulty federal levees in the wake of Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005, led to the deaths of 1,800 people across the Gulf Coast, caused a record-breaking $135 billion in damage and devastated New Orleans.

The city emptied. Its economy flat-lined. People questioned whether the city that gave us jazz and crawfish etouffee would ever return.

It was a pivotal moment in New Orleans and U.S. history. And at the city's helm was Nagin.

Prosecutors say Nagin's personal-enrichment schemes at City Hall began before Katrina hit, continued through the storm's bumpy aftermath and persevered through his second term and even beyond. As people dug out from under the rubble and wrestled with how to rebuild their city, Nagin was soliciting large checks for himself and his sons' granite countertop business from those wishing to do business with the city.

File under: Never let a crisis go to waste, just don't get caught---use brown paper bags.


  1. Historically it was filed under "cost of doing business in New Orleans." Reportedly it was reasonably "honest": those bought, stayed bought. The city took full advantage of the Slaughterhouse Cases and the Lucky Dog case (1976) (Justice Brennan I think) to work its formal and informal larceny.

  2. I remember when the MSM was in love with this guy for his wonderful "management" of the "recovery."