A jury in February found Nagin guilty of charges that include
bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion,
all in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Nagin stirred national controversy with his erratic behavior after
Katrina in 2005 breached floodwalls and inundated New Orleans,
killing at least 1,500 people and leaving tens of thousands
Prosecutors have asked for a stiff sentence of about 20 years, while
Nagin's attorney, citing his lack of a criminal record, has urged
Prosecutors said the combined value of the bribes, which included
personal parties, private jet rides and first-class airfare for a
family shopping trip to New York, totaled more than $500,000.
During the 10-day trial, prosecutors portrayed Nagin as a mayor on
the take, granting favors for bribes that included tons of free
granite delivered to a kitchen countertop company he ran with his
Testifying on his own behalf, Nagin flatly denied taking any bribe.
A former cable TV executive elected in 2002 on promises of running
an ethical government, Nagin won re-election four years later.
According to prosecutors, he immediately began seeking money from
contractors to fund the struggling family business.
Nagin's attorney, Robert Jenkins, said after the guilty verdict that
the former mayor would appeal his conviction.
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Any appeal will likely be complicated by the defense not moving
during the trial to have the evidence against Nagin ruled too weak
for a conviction, said Herbert Larson, an expert on federal criminal
law at the Tulane University Law School.
Such motions are crucial for revisiting those arguments on appeal,
"I don't think there are many if any viable avenues for an appeal
for Ray Nagin," Larson said.
Jenkins did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
As he sought re-election the year following Hurricane Katrina,
Nagin, a black politician who previously enjoyed strong support from
both black and white voters, seemed to take a racially divisive
approach to his campaign, urging residents to rebuild a "chocolate
New Orleans," referring to its majority black population.
He now lives in Frisco, Texas.
(Editing by David Adams and Sandra Maler)
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