Monday, September 8, 2014

Louisiana: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, 58, to Begin Serving Ten-Year Prison Sentence in Texas

According to The Huffington Postformer New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, 58, was due to report to federal prison on Monday (September 8) to begin serving a 10-year sentence for corruption during the years when the city was struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Nagin, a Democrat, was thrust into the national spotlight in 2005, when Katrina overwhelmed levees and flooded 80% of New Orleans, killing 1,500 people and causing some $80 billion in damage.

He is due to serve his time at a federal prison in Texarkana, TX, according to television station WDSU.

Nagin plans to appeal his conviction. He has said in court filings that he is nearly penniless, and has been granted a court-appointed lawyer.

COMMENT: The one-time cable company executive who served as New Orleans' mayor from 2002-2010 was convicted on 20 criminal counts including bribery, conspiracy and money laundering, all tied to payments he received for granting city contracts.

Seeking re-election in 2006, Nagin, a black politician who had enjoyed strong support from both black and white voters, seemed to adopt a racially divisive tone, urging residents to rebuild a "chocolate New Orleans," referring to its majority black population.

Under federal sentencing rules, Nagin would serve roughly 8.5 years in prison with good behavior.