Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ex-Louisiana Mayor Ray Nagin found Guilty

Ray Nagin, as a Democrat, was the 60th mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana from 2002 to 2010. He became internationally known in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area.

On January 18, 2013, Nagin was indicted on 21 corruption charges, including wire fraud, bribery, and money laundering related to his alleged dealings with two troubled city vendors following Hurricane Katrina disaster.

On February 20, 2013, Nagin pleaded not guilty in federal court to all charges.

Prosecutors claim Nagin took bribes worth more than $500,000 in a string of alleged crimes that began before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 and continued during the recovery from the catastrophic storm.

The alleged graft included money, free vacation travel and truckloads of granite for Stone Age LLC, a business Nagin and his sons owned. He vehemently denied taking bribes. He denied that the contracts were tied in any way to money, materials or favors he or his family business received. He also denied any tie between free vacation travel he received from businessmen and actions he took as mayor.

Today the jury reached a verdict: GUILTY on 20 of 21 counts.

(Below) President George W. Bush arrives at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on the way to events marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 20, 2008. He is greeted by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

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