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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is best known for his reaction to the federal government’s slow response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Now, however, he may also be known as yet another in a long line of corrupt officials.
The former New Orleans Mayor has been indicted on 21 federal corruption charges including wire fraud, bribery and money laundering.
The charges against Nagin stem from a City Hall corruption investigation that already has resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and two businessmen.
The federal indictment accuses Nagin of accepting more than $160,000 in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman who secured millions of dollars in city contract work after the 2005 hurricane. The businessman, Frank Fradella, pleaded guilty in June to bribery conspiracy and securities-fraud charges and has been cooperating with federal authorities.
The charges include wire fraud, bribery, money laundering, filing false tax returns and conspiracy. The indictment also accuses Nagin, 56, of getting free private jet and limousine services to New York from an unidentified businessman in exchange for doing tax favors for the businessman.
Nagin, formerly a television executive, was a young political upstart when he became mayor of New Orleans. He is most well known for being the mayor of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, where he was both derided and celebrated for becoming outraged at the government’s response to Katrina during a radio interview.
Nagin won reelection in 2006, even though many criticized his actions during Katrina.
Nagin’s attorney, Robert Jenkins, has not responded to the indictment.