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Former New Orleans mayor jailed 10 years for graft

Ray Nagin, who served as mayor of New Orleans from 2002 until 2010, and became a famous but ineffective leader during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for bribery.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan said Nagin, 58, was guilty of "rampant, inexcusable corruption" for a $500,000 bribery scheme.

He faced more than 15 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

The judge imposed the shorter sentence based on pleas from Nagin's wife and children, she said.

She ordered the former mayor to report to the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana on September 8.

Nagin, pictured above, was convicted by a jury in February of 20 counts of bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns.

The judge also ordered him to pay $84,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for the tax crimes.

Prosecutors proved that Nagin awarded city business in exchange for cash, travel, and other favors.

Several contractors and officials who worked for Nagin have been convicted or pleaded guilty in the case.

Outside New Orleans, Nagin was best known for his pleas for more federal aid to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. He blamed Washington for the slow response to the disaster.

He was re-elected in 2006 but did little to rebuild the city during his second term.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.