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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin facing 20 years for corruption


Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is facing a tough 20 years or more prison sentence if federal prosecutors get their way. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Coman wrote a harsh 43 page brief to the court that states in part that Nagin showed “no remorse” and “willfully” perjured himself multiple times during his federal corruption trial.

Nagin is facing sentencing on July 9 for his conviction of 20 counts of conspiracy, bribery and fraud. The once nationally known and popular black mayor has asked for leniency in sentencing. Current federal guidelines recommend that Nagin should be sentenced to no less than 20 years in prison. However, federal prosecutors have stated that Nagin should not only be sentenced to a minimum of 20 years but deserves even more time because of the outrageous nature of his crimes.

The government proved its case that Nagin profited from bribery schemes which included shipments of granite, luxury vacations and fixed city contracts. All of these crimes occurred before and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. According to the Times-Picayune, Coman listed some of the factors for harsher sentencing including:

  • He “organized, led, managed and supervised,” the bribery scheme.
  • The conspiracy included five or more participants: Nagin himself; his two sons; Greg Meffert, his technology chief; Rodney Williams, a city contractor; Frank Fradella, another contractor; Michael McGrath, an associate of Fradella’s and George Solomon, a developer.
  • The criminal activity was extensive, drawing in multiple co-conspirators and dupes who unwittingly participated in the scheme.
  • He lied repeatedly to investigators and from the witness stand.

Coman went on to state, “Nagin’s widespread and corrosive breach of the public trust — lasting throughout much of his tenure in office — equals even the worst of these state and local corruption cases. Accordingly, Nagin’s criminal conduct calls for a similar, significant sentence of imprisonment in keeping with these cited public corruption cases.”

Nagin’s attorneys have asked for leniency based on his lack of criminal history and his family ties.

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