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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin indicted on corruption charges

By Daniel S Levine,

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who lead the city during the devastating Hurricane Katrina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of corruption.

According to The Times-Picayune, Nagin was charged with a total of 21 counts of corruption, including six counts of bribery, filing false tax returns and money laundering.

Prosecutors allege that during his tenure from 2002-2010, he took bribes from contractors. Frank Fradella and Rodney Williams are already in prison for taking the bribes and will testify against Nagin if there is a trial.

The charges were long expected. Back in 2010, Greg Meffert, Nagin’s deputy mayor, had pleaded guilty to taking bribes to make sure businessman Mark St. Pierre received contracts in the city, reports The Associated Press. Meffert did cooperate with officials and St. Pierre has also been convicted.

During his time as mayor, Nagin became a national figure when Katrina hit in 2005, but was often criticized for his bizarre comments. He once told federal officials “get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their a**es moving to New Orleans” and referred to New Orleans as a “chocolate city.” His leadership was also heavily criticized, although he did win re-election in 2006. The corruption investigation took up most of his second term.

Since leaving office, Nagin relocated to Dallas and has stayed out of politics.

 

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