Ex-New Orleans mayor convicted for corruption, faces 20-year sentence

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New Orleans, LA, United States (4E) – Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was convicted Wednesday for corruption related to selling favorable treatment to city vendors from 2004 to 2008.

A jury handed the guilty verdict on Nagin, 57, after a six-hour deliberation Wednesday that capped his nine-day trial and made him the first mayor of New Orleans to be convicted of public corruption charges. He had no reaction to the verdict but his wife, Seletha sobbed.

Nagin was found guilty of conspiracy to get bribes and kickbacks, six counts of bribery for accepting money and a granite shipment from businessmen Rodney Williams and Frank Fradella, nine counts of wire fraud for accepting via wire transfer $2,500 in bribe money nine times, money laundering conspiracy for transferring the bribes to banks, and four counts of filing a false tax return for misstating his income from 2005 to 2008.

He was not found guilty of one count of bribery related to accepting $10,000 from Williams, a co-owner of Three-Fold Consultants.

Nagin’s sentencing is on June 11. He is facing a 20-year sentence or more.

The guilty verdict was based on the testimonies of the businessmen or co-conspirators, who were convicted earlier, the money trail and city contracts that were doled out. After Nagin left office, a string of former employees and contractors pleaded guilty to paying or facilitating bribes. The corruption was exposed by reporters of The Times-Picayune.

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