U.S. News


Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Sentenced To 10 Years

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Posted at 3:27 PM, Jul 09, 2014

The former New Orleans mayor who became the face of the ravaged city after Hurricane Katrina was sentenced to a decade in prison Wednesday. (Via Getty Images)

"Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.​ He was convicted in February of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from businessmen who wanted work from the city." ​(Via MSNBC)

On top of the federal prison time, the U.S. district judge also ordered the 58-year-old to pay more than $82,000 in restitution for his crimes. 

Back in February, Nagin was convicted on 20 of 21 federal corruption charges that took place both before and after Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. (Via CBS)

According to Fox News, authorities say he accepted bribes, free trips and other gifts from contractors after helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was mayor. He left office in 2010 after eight years.

WWL-TV reports prosecutors immediately objected to Nagin's sentence, which falls short of the typical sentencing guidelines of 12 to 30 years behind bars.

The outlet quotes Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Coman outside the courthouse after the sentencing. "What Ray Nagin did was sell his office over and over and over again. The damage that Ray Nagin inflicted upon this community... is incalculable."

But the judge determined the evidence didn't show Nagin was the mastermind behind a corruption scheme. The New York Times says she told the court, "Mr. Nagin claimed a much, much smaller share of the profits of the crime than any other member of the group."

Nagin was a successful businessman before he ran for office back in 2002.

According to The Times-Picayune, he raked in about $400,000 a year as New Orleans Cox cable television franchise's chief executive. He was even part owner of minor league hockey team the New Orleans Brass.

But Nagin's salary plummeted to about $130,000 when he took office. And that wasn't the only blow to his once hefty wallet. (Via CNN)

Nagin confessed to helping keep his sons' granite countertop business afloat by feeding it about $10,000 a month. The business ultimately failed, and all that money was lost. (Via Getty Images)

And as he heads to prison, Nagin will leave his family to deal with his finances. 

After his conviction, the lender on his family's home in Texas sought to foreclose on the property, and his wife has filed for bankruptcy after the trial. Add the more than $82,000 fine to all that, and you get a heavy financial burden. (Via Getty Images)

WWL-TV obtained a copy of a letter written by Nagin's wife dated July 1. "We are mentally and financially drained. We have exhausted our savings, borrowed from family... We have even sold much of our furniture and all of our jewelry with the exception of our wedding rings."

Nagin is scheduled to report to Oakdale Federal Prison in Louisiana Sept. 8.