Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was convicted back in February on nearly two dozen charges for crimes he committed while in office. Earlier today, Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison after potentially facing over 20 years.
Nagin, 58, was a two-term mayor in the Louisiana city and was hailed a hero by some for his efforts during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But after his indictment in 2013 and his conviction in February on 20 of 21 counts of bribery, wire fraud and other charges, Nagin joins other former elected officials in the state to be convicted. Nagin, however, owns the distinction of being the first New Orleans mayor to get prison time for a conviction.
From the Times-Picayune:
Nagin is set to report to prison on Sept. 8. He could serve his term at a minimum security federal detention center in Oakdale, a city in central Louisiana.
U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan handed down the sentence in a packed courtroom five months after a jury convicted Nagin on 20 of 21 counts of bribery, wire fraud, tax evasion and other charges. She said the seriousness of his crimes could not be overstated, but said he was not the leader of a conspiracy and she felt it just to sentence him below the range called for in federal sentencing guidelines.
Nagin has largely kept a cool demeanor regarding the charges, and spoke to the judge during the trial today.
“The only thing I want to say is I want to thank you and your staff for the professionalism that you provided,” said during the hearing. “As far as my role in this, we stand by the testimonies already presented.”
If Judge Berrigan enforced federal sentencing guidelines, Nagin would have possibly served more than 20 years. The judge also concluded that Nagin was not a ringleader in the conspiracy that took down another City Hall official, and that he was often led into these deals by others while taking much smaller profits.
Frank Fradella, a businessman and former CEO of disaster management firm Home Solutions of America was convicted of bribing Nagin with cash and other gifts. Fradella was slapped with 17 years in prison.