Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Corruption Charges

imagesBy Victor Trammell

Ray Nagin became a national figure in politics when he was the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana.

As the city struggled with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Nagin attempted to lead during one of the saddest times in American history. Nagin has kept a low profile since he has left politics in 2010. He has recently regained headlines over some very bad news regarding a serious federal criminal case hanging over his head.

Nagin, 56, appeared in federal court Wednesday to enter a plea of not guilty to almost tw0-dozen charges in connection with his alleged corruption activity during his time as mayor of New Orleans. During Wednesday’s arraignment, U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan set Nagin’s bond at $100,000.

A 21-count indictment handed down last month alleges that Nagin of accepted more than $200,000 in bribes, free loads of granite for a family business, and trips to Hawaii, Jamaica and other places for lavish vacations. According to federal prosecutors, Nagin allegedly received illegal kickbacks in return for helping city contractors gain numerous million-dollar projects.

The new charges against Ray Nagin are the latest in a series of shameful crimes committed by New Orleans members of City Hall. A prior federal investigation of  corruption has already resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and two Louisiana businessmen. A former vendor for the city of New Orleans has also received a lengthy prison sentence for activity linked to the city’s rampant corruption scandal.




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