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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Attorney says that they will appeal the ruling

A jury found former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin guilty of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Convicted on 20 out of 21 counts of graft and corruption, Nagin's attorney says that they will appeal. "I maintain my innocence," was all Nagin had to tell reporters.

A jury found former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin guilty of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Convicted on 20 out of 21 counts of graft and corruption, Nagin's attorney says that they will appeal. 'I maintain my innocence,' was all Nagin had to tell reporters.

A jury found former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin guilty of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Convicted on 20 out of 21 counts of graft and corruption, Nagin's attorney says that they will appeal. "I maintain my innocence," was all Nagin had to tell reporters.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Ray Nagin, New Orleans, mayor, graft, corruption


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nagin, a purported scourge of corruption, led the city through the worst disaster of its modern history, Hurricane Katrina.

After the hurricane all but destroyed the city in 2005, the onetime cable television executive reassured people about sending taxpayer money to a state with a long and colorful history of corruption.

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"He got a lot of media attention as being a reformer, a non-politician, first run for office -- a businessman who was going to come in and get it right," Pat Fanning, a veteran New Orleans lawyer and no fan of the former two-term mayor said.

Out of office since 2010, Nagin had little to say as he left the courthouse. A small group of supporters yelled, "Keep your head up" and "He's just a patsy," CNN affiliate WDSU reported.

Nagin's attorney, Robert Jenkins, told reporters his client would appeal the verdict. "We did the best we could do," Jenkins said.

Reportedly at the center of a kickback scheme in which he received checks, cash, wire transfers, personal services and free travel from businessmen seeking contracts and favorable treatment from the city, the 57-year-old Nagin faces up to 20 years in prison. Fanning says a 14 to 17-year term was more likely.

A January 2013 indictment detailed more than $200,000 in bribes to the mayor. His family members allegedly received a vacation in Hawaii, along with first-class airfare to Jamaica. They also received private jet travel and a limousine for New York City and cellular phone service. Businesses that donated to Nagin and his family won more than $5 million in city contracts, according to the January 2013 indictment.

Prosecutors brought to the stand a string of businessmen who had already pleaded guilty to bribing Nagin. His defense did little to challenge their stories.

"It was too painful actually to watch. They just swamped him," he said. And when Nagin took the stand in his own defense, "He did a belly flop," often answering questions on cross-examination by saying he couldn't recall who paid for a trip or perk.

"He just looked terrible," Fanning said.

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