Nagin convicted on 20 of 21 charges, sentencing date to be set
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted today on charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office, including right after Hurricane Katrina. A federal jury found Nagin guilty of 20 of 21 counts against him. Each charge carries a sentence of from 3 to 20 years, but how long Nagin will serve will depend on a pre-sentence investigation and various sentencing guidelines. No sentencing date was set. The Associated Press reports Nagin sat quietly at the defense table after the verdict was read, while his wife, Seletha, was being consoled in the front row. Before the verdict was announced, the 57-year-old who left office in 2010 after eight years told reporters gathered outside the New Orleans courtroom: "I've been at peace with this for a long time. I'm good." Nagin was indicted in January 2013 on charges he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of local businessman Frank Fradella. He also was charged with accepting thousands of dollars in in payoffs from another businessman, Rodney Williams, for his help in securing city contracts. Prosecutors say he took hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of bribes including money, free travel and granite for Stone Age LLC, a family granite business. Read the full story.
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