Former NOLA mayor found guilty of bribery, fraud, laundering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

posted at 5:21 pm on February 12, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

So it turns out that Ray Nagin, the Democratic ex-mayor of New Orleans best known for his furious denunciations of the Bush administration in their response to Hurricane Katrina, wasn’t exactly acting with the city’s best interests at heart himself. The guy left office in 2010 with bottom-of-the-barrel approval ratings and insisted that he wouldn’t be running for political office again — and I think this just about seals the deal on that. The sentencing is still to come, but each of the 20 charges of which he was convicted carries a sentence of at least several years, and he could be looking at a nice long prison term. Via CNN:

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, whose desperate pleas for help during Hurricane Katrina drew national attention, walked silently out of a courthouse Wednesday after a jury convicted him of federal corruption charges.

Nagin was elected as a reformer in 2002. But after a two-week trial that began in late January, he was found guilty of 20 out of 21 counts of bribery, money laundering, fraud and filing false tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The sole acquittal was on one of the bribery counts. …

The charges detailed more than $200,000 in bribes to the mayor, and his family members allegedly received a vacation in Hawaii; first-class airfare to Jamaica; private jet travel and a limousine for New York City; and cellular phone service. In exchange, businesses that coughed up cash for Nagin and his family won more than $5 million in city contracts, according to the January 2013 indictment.

In a nutshell, he used the opportunity of the Katrina recovery effort to kick city contracts back to any vendors that offered to sweeten the deal, while simultaneously blustering about the incompetence and corruption of everybody else’s post-Katrina commitment. What a swell guy.


“The quantum of damages will be interesting here,” he said. “How much suffering there was, how much illicit wealth he accumulated, that’s what the judge will look at when deciding how to sentence.”

He’s facing 120 years, but will probably get around 20, Napolitano said.

When he left court, Nagin told reporters that it was not a fair verdict and that he maintains his innocence. His lawyer said they would appeal the decision.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

You don’t remember Potato-head disappearing for about 3-days after he made his strutting “Everything is under control” followed shortly thereafter by his “Get out! Now!” Linda Blair moment?

viking01 on February 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM

If BUUUUUSH was so stupid, how did he have the smarts to steer that storm to devastate blacks?

No one else has been able to steer storms.

Dingbat63 on February 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

No matter what kind of sick jokes you Conse”rat”ives come up with to hurt this poor man even more than he already has, it still doesn’t change the fact that Bushitler developed that storm with a weather machine in his evil lair in a volcano off the coast of Madagascar and then Darth Cheney blew up the dikes with Kurdish mercenaries bused in from the Middle East by way of Canada.

The evil is all yours.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM

lol that was good

sadsushi on February 12, 2014 at 7:42 PM

You don’t remember Potato-head disappearing for about 3-days after he made his strutting “Everything is under control” followed shortly thereafter by his “Get out! Now!” Linda Blair moment?

viking01 on February 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM

No, my mind is more fixed on the long-term aftermath. Months of having sunshine pumped up our behinds about progress. The Times-Picayune was running columns on how to restore damaged treasures and they set up a recipe exchange because far too many people discovered the folly of taking the wedding albums but not the family cookbooks.

There is no doubt that NOLA government disappeared. Sewell Cadillac even put up a billboard that they were the choice of the New Orleans Police Department (after they looted the lot). By the time Shep Smith was ranting against the Bush administration, all was lost.

My hated of C. Ray Nagin is not in the moment but in the corruption that followed. And it is in those decisions that he was convicted today.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Yeah, and O.J. is still looking for “the real killers”.

Pork-Chop on February 12, 2014 at 6:07 PM

He’s on a hunger strike now.

cptacek on February 12, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM

I’m certainly not arguing with you… I was in NOLA often after Katrina helping restore the family house then getting it prepped for sale to move her away.

There’s a lot about NOLA she misses and I miss like the food and the old culture but not Obama’s sons crime-fest and the political corruption. Fortunately she was in Jefferson Parish which was much safer, which rebounded faster and had a Chinese Sheriff mostly safe from the many race cards thrown at him after Katrina by the usual suspects.

viking01 on February 12, 2014 at 7:57 PM

And, of course, the most feckless failure during Katrina was Buuuush. Oh, well, another crooked Dem mayor bites the dust. Bad news: once released from prison, he’ll run on the Victim Party slate and be reelected mayor, at ten times the previous salary.

vnvet on February 12, 2014 at 7:58 PM

My hated of C. Ray Nagin is not in the moment but in the corruption that followed. And it is in those decisions that he was convicted today.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM

That reminds me, were all the Cadillac Escalades that the police looted from NO dealers ever recovered?

slickwillie2001 on February 12, 2014 at 8:07 PM

viking01 on February 12, 2014 at 7:57 PM

I’m certainly not arguing with you

I didn’t think you were. Sorry if I left that impression. The record shows that Nagin essentially did nothing for days (from the upper floors of the Hyatt) after the flooding of New Orleans.

There’s a lot about NOLA she misses and I miss like the food and the old culture

I miss all of that too. The city is nothing like it was pre-Katrina. Some of that is good but a lot of it is not.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

“not a fair verdict”?…you’re right, shoulda been 21 outta 21

getthelibsout on February 12, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Wait, are you telling me that a politician in Louisiana is corrupt? Get out of town.

Grammar Nazi on February 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

No matter what kind of sick jokes you Conse”rat”ives come up with to hurt this poor man even more than he already has, it still doesn’t change the fact that Bushitler developed that storm with a weather machine in his evil lair in a volcano off the coast of Madagascar and then Darth Cheney blew up the dikes with Kurdish mercenaries bused in from the Middle East by way of Canada.

The evil is all yours.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM

THREAD WINNER!

Bubba Redneck on February 12, 2014 at 8:47 PM

A good week. Faulconer in San Diego City Hall, and Nagin heading for the Big House.

Freelancer on February 12, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Even now, there is a push to let Edwards out of prison because of his age, and because there are so many Dems who are nostalgic about the man.

Wanderlust on February 12, 2014 at 6:53 PM

He is out of jail, released in 2011. Didn’t you see the reality show with his new trophy wife called The Governor’s Wife. It was bad, I mean really bad and creepy.

But yeah, I’ve seen the nostalgia. My mother-in-law says he was one of the best governors we’ve ever had. My father-and-law and I both laughed at the same time.

Lay-Z on February 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Lol doesn’t surprise me, Lay-Z: the pattern of gubernatorial elections in LA for years was, two terms of Edwards, one term of a half decent, more or less honest Republican, then two more terms of Edwards…wash, rinse, repeat. Continual allegations of bribery in many different forms only made Dems want him that much more.

Happy Nomad, somehow I’m not surprised to find Lady Bird Johnson’s hooks into land deals in NOLA. I recall many people claiming that LBJ’s interest in Vietnam was because Lady Bird owned or had interests in several defense contractors, including Bell Helicopter, at one point.

Patronage, it’s the mother’s milk of Louisiana politics. We could teach Obambi a thing or three.

Wanderlust on February 12, 2014 at 9:09 PM

This.

Shaughnessy on February 12, 2014 at 9:19 PM

So long Chocolate City!

HondaV65 on February 12, 2014 at 5:48 PM

…..hello Hershey Highway!

JGinGJ on February 12, 2014 at 9:21 PM

insisted that he wouldn’t be running for political office again — and I think this just about seals the deal on that.

Is he a dem? There is no sin too great to be forgiven if you have a (D) after your name.

Corollary:
There is no infraction too minute for you to be hounded to death if you have an (R).

yongoro on February 12, 2014 at 9:22 PM

This.

Shaughnessy on February 12, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Looter guy, right side of the distribution.

Murphy9 on February 12, 2014 at 9:23 PM

How on Earth did Nagin ever get convicted?

He’s a Democrat.

He’s a (former) exec.

He’s black.

Obviously Obama is not sharing his dance moves.

trapeze on February 12, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Bush’s fault!

OxyCon on February 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM

ARGH!

I have been hearing about this all day long on the news. Nobody, and I mean nobody is mentioning the fact that he is a Democrat. Everybody is playing “Name that party”. I thought that at least Fox News would mention it, but even they do not mention it at all in the above four minute segment.

If this was a Republican mayor, the word Republican would be said at least four times a minute in any and all broadcasts. It would be “Republican Mayor…yadda..yadda… Republican party… yadda.. yadda… Republican… obviously hates poor and/or black people… Republican corrupt… etc.”.

I can’t stand double standards and this one always burns my butt.

I would love to see a study between the party labels given during the Nagin stories and the Christie stories. I am sure that Chris Chritie’s Republican affiliation is mentioned at least five times as often during his “scandal” reporting than Nagin’s is even though what Nagin did will put him away in Federal Prison for a long, long time and we are not even sure if Christie did anything at all.

Theophile on February 13, 2014 at 2:04 AM

Ya really outta dig a lil deeper….. if the evidence that the gubRmint put forward is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt…. gawd help anyone that stands before a judge… even if ray ray is guilty of this penny ante theft … isn’t it interesting that the POLITICAL OUTSIDER faced the music…. while the political machines that have raped the city over the last half century don’t get as much as a speeding ticket.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on February 13, 2014 at 3:05 AM

I think a long stint in the chocolate-town jail would be appropriate

HomeoftheBrave on February 13, 2014 at 7:21 AM

Tomorrow’s headline:

Chocolate City Mayor Opens Hershey Highway

Armed Texan on February 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Comment pages: 1 2