AFRICANGLOBE – Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who became a national figure in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, reported to federal prison Monday to begin serving a 10-year term for corruption that unfolded as the city sought to rebuild in the aftermath of the 2005 storm.
Nagin was convicted on 20 criminal counts, including money laundering and bribery, that stemmed from payments he received as the city doled out contracts in the recovery effort. Nagin plans to appeal the conviction.
With good behavior, he could be eligible for parole after eight years. His time will be served in a Texas federal prison.
Nagin, a Democrat and native of New Orleans, served as mayor from 2002 until 2010. He earlier worked as a cable-television executive.
“I continue to pray, you know, ask God for strength. I talk to my family a lot. They’re dealing with it as best they can, and we’ll see what the future holds,” Nagin told local television station WDSU before entering the prison. “Sept. 8 is a date that’s out there right now, but who knows what’s in the future.”
Since his conviction in February, Ray Nagin has been under house arrest in his Dallas-area home.
The federal indictment against Nagin said he accepted more than $200,000 in bribes from contractors vying to help rebuild the city in the aftermath of Katrina, which flooded 80% of New Orleans, claimed 1,500 lives and caused $80 billion in damage.
At his trial, Ray Nagin testified that prosecutors misinterpreted evidence against him, including emails and pages from his appointment calendar.
By: Kurtis Lee
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