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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted Wednesday on charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office, including right after Hurricane Katrina.

The federal jury found Nagin guilty of 20 of 21 counts against him. He sat quietly at the defense table after the verdict was read and his wife, Seletha, was being consoled in the front row.

Before the verdict, the 57-year-old Ray Nagin said outside the New Orleans courtroom: “I’ve been at peace with this for a long time. I’m good.”

The Democrat, who left office in 2010 after eight years, was indicted in January 2013 on charges he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of local businessman Frank Fradella.

He also was charged with accepting thousands of dollars in in payoffs from another businessman, Rodney Williams, for his help in securing city contracts.

Nagin is best remembered for his impassioned pleas for help after levees broke during Hurricane Katrina, flooding much of New Orleans and plunging the city into chaos.

Nagin testified that key witnesses lied and prosecutors misinterpreted evidence including emails, checks and pages from his appointment calendar linking him to businessmen who said they bribed him.

The defense repeatedly said prosecutors overstated Nagin’s authority to approve contracts. His lawyer said there is no proof money and material given to the granite business owned by Nagin and his sons was tied to city business.

The charges against Nagin included one overarching conspiracy count along with six counts of bribery, nine counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy and four counts of filing false tax returns. He was acquitted of one of the bribery counts.

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18 thoughts on “Ray Nagin, Ex-New Orleans Mayor, Found Guilty On Corruption Charges

  1. Not defending the actions of a corrupt politician but I will attempt to shed light on others. Mark Sanford used tax payer money to fund an international affair. The treasurer of SC was caught with coke while in office and is now getting a reality show. All corrupt politicians should be punished. There shouldn’t be a difference where one gets treated like a star while the other is considered scum of the Earth.

    • Joe Drager on said:

      Defending a corrupt politician is exactly what you are doing. What someone else has done has no bearin on the fact Nagin is corrupt.

  2. americanize. on said:

    When are black elected officials are going to learn,you can,t do what white officials been doing for years.If they get busted,they get the usaual slap on the wrist. Black official,nail to the cross.

  3. This guy, is a complete idiot, if he wasn’t paying for these vacations himself, then who did he think was paying for them? He, and Kwame Kilpatrick, should be thrown in the same cell, what a waste.

  4. No surprise here! White people get away with EVERYTHING that they themselves will gladly hang a brother for…smh, 1st Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick and now New Orleans Mayor Nagin, who is next? They want President Obama so bad!

      • antonette on said:

        Oh I know & pretty sure Nagin & Kilpatrick knew as well. The greed for money & power IS the death of us all!

    • Who cares what white people do or have done! Ray Nagin has disgraced himself and his family. I get so sick of people bringing race into everything. Right is right and wrong is wrong. He is a theft and he should be brought to justice!

      • Sorry sweetie but race is in the middle of EVERYTHING! We will NEVER be treated fairly, I don’t give a hoot what the constitution…joke says! Completely agree that wrong is wrong. The biggest problem in society today is ABSOLUTELY NO ONE takes responsibility for what they do. It’s always someone else’s fault and quickly becomes a battle of who can sue who for how much. Mayor Nagin, in my opinion, is a victim of beating someone at their own game, a thief no less. As long as he would’ve accepted nickels and dimes and someone else got the big bucks we wouldn’t know of his indescretions….again folks, money…greed…death of us all!

      • Am, while your points about injustice and being treated fairly are true, they are totally irrelevant. If you agree that right is right and wrong is wrong, the discussion really should be over. If he was indicited unfairly or getting sentenced unfairly that would be one thing. He is wrong no matter his color. So many black people seem to want a “pass” because white people have indiscretions for crimes as well. The fact of the matter is, if you are wrong, you should be brought to full justice. Your race, color, or creed should have nothing to do with it. The fact that white people have been thieves for years has NOTHING to do with the fact that Ray Nagin is a crook! He knew he was wrong.

      • Not speaking entirely about injustice and being treated fairly through the justice system itself. How is it that we as black people only hold our own people to the highest standards, but yet will vote and support the wrong doings of others? You may think that you’re not being supportive, but every single politician in office (past or present) is not holding that office on the “white” vote alone. We seem completely satisfied with the welfare they offer, the menial jobs they offer, and the total disrespect they show our people! We can only grow as a people by first supporting each other and lifting each other up. Not tearing them down at their lowest, most humiliating moment, regardless of that moment came to be.

        To say that I am giving this man a “pass” because he is black is ridiculous. I am no more giving Nagin a pass as I am giving Kilpatrick or OJ for that matter. They are all ABSOLUTELY WRONG and they know it. We can use our struggles of our past to the highest capacity in justifying the wrong choices we make, it doesn’t make them right. I’m pretty sure there is someone in that group of people that testified against him that had no problem in helping him steal….black, white or other, they all knew what they were doing was completely wrong. Now bring in plea deals and backstabbers and Nagin & Kilpatrick are viewed as the only criminal in their respective situations.

        At the end of our journeys we will all answer to One! We have to hold ourselves accountable and take personal responsibility for every decision we make, for every thing we do, period. To sit around and pass judgment on someone else’s failures in life makes you a hypocrite.

        Since the world is so far gone with greed, power, Hate and disregard, I am patiently waiting for God to hit the reset button! That’s the only thing that will set us all straight!

        Straight up Jae, we are on the same side! Peace

    • You are a real coon with the “white people do it too” defense. Niggas like you are who is ruining the black American existence. Please consider moving to Africa so that you may get chopped up with a machete!

      • How about all white people go back to Europe and live in caves and beat eachother over the heads where you all belong and give the land back to the Indians that were here first.

      • A “coon”…”nigga”…really? Actually wasn’t defending this thief, merely pointing out how f’d up our crminial justice system and society is. But like I said, not surprised, the nation and all of its flawed laws were created by white people to protect white people and keep them in control. It’s people like you that don’t even realize (or maybe just don’t give a dam) that your comment perpetuates the problem. Africa is “The Birthplace” not a bad place, but WHITE PEOPLE managed to get their hands on that nation as well! Educate yourself please so you don’t keep making a fool of yourself.

        ps. there are machetes here in USA, go find one and chop yourself up with!

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