|Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (Jonathan Bachman Photo)|
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced by a federal judge today to ten years in prison for his conviction on multiple public corruption charges, including bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion. The crime spree took place after federal and state dollars poured into the city that was forced to evacuate and shut down for a period of time following the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in order to clean up and rebuild.
Federal prosecutors accused him of taking bribes of value, including personal parties, private jet rides, a family shopping spree to New York and lots of free granite for a kitchen countertop company he ran with his sons, totaling more than $500,000. Nagin testified at his trial and denied accepting any bribes.
I attended a convention in New Orleans a week before Hurricane Katrina struck at which Mayor Nagin spoke and welcomed us to his city. He made a very favorable first impression.