Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Sentenced To Decade In Prison For Bribery

Tyler Durden's picture

Just out from Dow Jones:

  • Former New Orleans Mayor Nagin Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Corruption
  • New Orleans Mayor During Hurricane Katrina Headed to Federal Prison for 10 Years After Conviction for Trading City Business for Cash, Trips, Other Favors

And from the WSJ:

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other corruption that spanned his two terms as mayor--including the chaotic years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.


Mr. Nagin was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Mr. Nagin's support for various projects. The bribes came in the form of money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business. The 58-year-old Democrat had defiantly denied any wrongdoing after his 2013 indictment and during his February trial.

Finally from the NYT:

C. Ray Nagin, the former mayor of New Orleans who was convicted in February on corruption charges, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday in federal court in New Orleans. Mr. Nagin was found guilty in February on 20 counts, most relating to kickbacks from contractors looking for city work. The sentence was imposed by Judge Ginger Berrigan of United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.


Mr. Nagin, a Democrat, was arrested in January 2013, nearly three years after he left office. He was charged with taking kickbacks in the form of cash, cross-country trips or help with the family-run granite countertop company; the bribes were handed out by men looking for city business ranging from software supplies to sidewalk repair. Many of the schemes, though not all, took place after Hurricane Katrina, when contractors crowded into the city for rebuilding work.


Many of those involved eventually pleaded guilty and testified at length against Mr. Nagin at his trial.


The corruption had been so thoroughly covered in the local news media that few people were surprised by the verdicts. Mr. Nagin had come into office in 2002 as a reformer from the business world and a foe of cronyism. But the city grew frustrated with his stewardship, particularly in his second term when the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina stalled and Mr. Nagin seemed unengaged. By the time he left office in 2010, many in New Orleans had moved past frustration and were simply ready to see him go.


Throughout the trial the courtroom was half-empty, except for a riveting two days when Mr. Nagin took the stand and denied everything, at times with a glib dismissal. At one point he even refused to recognize his own signature on receipts that federal prosecutors displayed on a large screen.


In a court filing urging a stiff sentence, federal prosecutors described Mr. Nagin’s testimony as “a performance that can only be summed up by his astounding unwillingness to accept any responsibility,” and listed in detail 22 instances in which they said he had lied on the witness stand. As they had at trial, prosecutors also contrasted Mr. Nagin’s attention to detail in some of the kickback schemes with what many came to see as his lackadaisical stewardship in office.


“These repeated violations, at the expense of the citizens of New Orleans in a time when honest leadership was needed most, do not deserve leniency,” wrote Matthew M. Coman, an assistant United States attorney.

And so, following Rod Blagojevich, another prominent Democrat ends up in prison for corruption, a sentence one assumes will be shortened to a few years for good behavior. Which does beg the question: just when will Jon Corzine be released from prison?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
AlaricBalth's picture

Jon Corzine!!! Don't think we have forgotten about you.

Big Corked Boots's picture

Nagin got off light. Corzine got off completely.

BC6's picture

Matthew M. Coman, an assistant United States attorney h@+32 black people!

pods's picture

Da Bitch set me up!  Oops, sorry, wrong politician.


NoDebt's picture

Nagin was FRAMED!

Nah, just fukkin' with ya.

Pladizow's picture

And how does this differ from lobbyists?

MagicHandPuppet's picture

But, but, but... he did it "for the people"!!!

Monty Burns's picture

A corrupt black Mayor??? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

wallstreetaposteriori's picture

When is Obama's trial gonna start... 

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Oh please... am I suppose to believe in the Injustice System after this??? He obviously fell out of favor with his masters, for whatever reason. I see the gullibility levels are on the rise.

Save_America1st's picture

hmmm....let's see....I predict a presidential pardon to occur sometime before the end of ooooohhhh, let's say 2016 or so.

cifo's picture

He will see a lot of chocolate.

smlbizman's picture

isnt he the honorable ray niggen...

if corzine is honorable...raycist...

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Good news is chocolate ration is increase for population of prison!

(AmeriKa is incarcerate more of citizenry than other country... is make Stalin roll over and blush in grave*.)


* Comrade Stalin is actually entomb in mausoleum.

ceilidh_trail's picture

Is he going to a chocolate prison?

NotApplicable's picture

I'd put him more into the disposable "useful idiot" category. Especially since he isn't a member of the "Good Ole Boy" network.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Basically, the only usefulness he had left was to be thrown under the bus in order for the slaves to rah, rah, rah about "justice" being served.

So all those businessmen were first time bribers huh? Right...

The Blank Stare's picture

They can start a band. Call it.......Sexy Chocolate.

disabledvet's picture

More money than they know what to do with down there...but if you want the foreign investors "you've gotta clean it up...and be on the up and up."

Texas has clobbered LA because simply put "they get the Government job done" not just in the sense of "it was completed according to engineering specifications" but because it was value added to the economy as a whole creating a greater prosperity for the greater good.

In short "good for business." That's what you have to think about when you elect your town council dude (or dudette.) a: "is he going steal from me" and b: "will he simply say that's because this is how we do things around here" when he/she does it.

The Feds can't "print their prosperity" (not a very good one it would seem though)...but simply put "at the State and local level hard choices must be made." This is especially true when you got hundreds of billions in oil and natural gas money coming on line.

"More than enough to spread around." Not saying that all that's going on here is stealing...but a Chinese investor who has our debt will not...nor will he ever...invest in "pay to play." They've been doing that in China for 10,000 years. They know the difference. "You'll get a product here."

fleur de lis's picture

Gaius - My thoughts exactly. All pols know they are in the midst of a racket, but at some point Nagin saw too much and said "no." That was all it took. Then all the little things that he had let go by (with the knowledge and approval of his overlords) all of a sudden became important. Does anyone really think that corruption is a punishable crime in this country when the transgressors are pols? Can you spell Benghazi? It all depends on the alliance system and who is in control. His only mistake was independant thinking.

Trogdor's picture

Agreed.  He must have pissed off one of his masters.  I'd bet money they barely scratched the surface of what this scumbag did.  For a "Progressive" to actually get time, they must have done something really bad (beyond going against his oath of office ... not that that stops any of them....)

The Blank Stare's picture

Payback from Bush for making him look worse after Katrina.

Frankie Carbone's picture

I think it's simpler than that. He had served his purpose as a patsy that beta tested a concept for the ruling class, and they had no need for him anymore. He was then relegated back to "the rest of them" class status, and therefore fell under the jurisdiction of the 2nd tier justice system, which is there to a.) punish mouthy non-compliant serfs that get out of hand, b.) establish the illusion of justice, and c.) feed the prison-industrial complex with new commodity to consume in the name of profit. 

I don't think he was ever at a high enough level of significance to have "ever fallen out of favor" with the elite in the first place. At best, they gave him a 1 year local-only "kiss my ass status" with some federal immunity for constitutional violations, but's that's it. 

GetZeeGold's picture




When is Obama's trial gonna start... 


Datz racism!

jcaz's picture

Barry's already penning his pardon.....

wallstreetaposteriori's picture

Barry is runnning as fast as possible in the other direction hoping that no one notices.... #impeach&imprision. 

XitSam's picture

I've wondered about this. Can a president pardon himself?  Or can he pardon someone that hasn't been charged or convicted?

Max Cynical's picture

Are there any honest black politicians?

Kwame Kilpatrick

"Chocolate City" Mayor Ray Nagin

Charles Rangel

William Jefferson (caught with 90K in freezer after Katrina)

Jesse Jackson Jr.

William Boyland Jr. (Brooklyn Assemblyman convicted of extortion and soliciting bribes by a federal jury)

Barack Obama

Eric Holder

Marion Barry

Sheila Dixon, Baltimore 

Eric Brewer, East Cleveland 

Harold Washington, Chicago 


MagicHandPuppet's picture

Quotes by this gubmint opportunist:


"I have been bustin' my butt."

"You know if someone approach me wrong, I'm just gonna cold-cock 'em."

"The election is over. If you supported somebody else, get over it."

"Surely God is mad, at America. He's sending hurricane after hurricane after hurricane."

"It is what it is."

"It's me ... It's Ray Nagin."

"And it just pisses me off. And that's what I'm saying, if he (Tom Benson) wants to leave, God bless him, let him leave. We need a new owner. They can't take our logo, they can't take our name. Now let's go for the Cleveland deal."

"You're gonna see a side of Ray Nagin that you haven't seen."

"I m coming back to the station, and me and your news director are gonna be outside in the parking lot having a good one-on-one."

"This is ridiculous."

"I am sick of this."

"This is just crazy."

"This city will be chocolate at the end of the day."

"It's time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be, a chocolate New Orleans."

"Now get off your asses and let's do something, and let's fix the biggest g------ crises in the history of this country."

"Excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."

"This city will be a majority African-American city ... it's the way God wants it to be."

"You got to be kidding me, this is a national disaster, get every doggone Greyhound bus-line in the country, and get their assess moving to New Orleans."

"The city of New Orleans will never be the same."

"So I stand before you a vagina-friendly mayor. I am in."

TBT or not TBT's picture

That last one is too good to check!

boattrash's picture

You can take da man outta da hood...

...but you can't take da hood outta da man.

AlaricBalth's picture

Ten years disqualifies Nagin for Club Fed. He is going behind the wall.

Jayda1850's picture

Doubt it. Non violent offender, will more than likely put in a camp. May do a few years at a low security behind a fence, then its off to the camp. Fed Camps are the sweetest, not even a fence. just walk off anytime, just as long as you're back before stand up count. Don't know about his sentence reduced to a couple years as Tyler states. In the feds you have to do 85% of your time and usually 6 months halfway house.

The only wall he'll ever be behind is going through the US Pen in Atlanta, where they ship everybody out of.

Almost Solvent's picture

"not even a fence. just walk off anytime, just as long as you're back before stand up count."


I hope that is not true. WTF? Why are we paying to house these folks in the first place, might as well just put a fucking ankle bracelet on them and save the money the fenceless camps costs.

Wait, that would not be bullish, and I heard guards have a club they all belong to, think they call it a racket, or union, or something like that.

Jayda1850's picture

Yes, most federal camps do not have fences.

Yes, inmates can go off and get lost for hours on end without anyone knowing. In fact, as long as you are back within 24hrs, they will not charge you with escape, but with a lesser charge. Kinda like being charged for being AWOL rather than deserting.

Of all the government agencies I've come across, the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) is by far the most incestuous and corrupt.

max2205's picture

He must be the wrong kind of black.


Hey, it's all Zulu to me....

StychoKiller's picture

They should tack on another 20 years for his (in)actions before and after Katrina!

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

Lol. #toobigtojail (unfortunately)

Larry Dallas's picture

Another negro in the woodpile. Agh. These people are doing wonders proving their stereotype wrong.

Remember Jesse Jackson, Jr? Fur vests. FUR VESTS on a guy?!


takeaction's picture

I am actually surprised and impressed.  I read this headline here on ZH...and my first thought was..."Just the Onion". down.

Meat Hammer's picture

Meh.  It's a give-and-go think you got the guy covered until the guy you didn't see sneaks around behind you.


thamnosma's picture

It's a chocolate city according to the ex-mayor.  He now gets to find out how chocolate the prisons are.

docmac324's picture

He won't serve a single day, watch.

Agstacker's picture

A chocolate federal prision!