Judgment day has come for former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin.
Today, Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In addition, U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan also ordered Nagin to pay $84,000 in restitution.
The sentence was less than the recommended 15 years, but Judge Ginger Berrigan of United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana told the court that the evidence failed to show that Mr. Nagin had organized or had been a leader of a corruption scheme.
“Mr. Nagin claimed a much, much smaller share of the profits of the crime than any other member of the group,” Judge Berrigan said, referring to the businessmen who profited from the scheme. The judge said that Mr. Nagin’s leadership was much needed after Hurricane Katrina but that it had also been lagging.
“What Ray Nagin did was sell his office over and over again,” lead prosecutor Matt Coman said after the sentencing. “The damage that C. Ray Nagin inflicted on this community … is incalculable.”
Nagin will report to a minimum security prison in September.
As we reported back in February, Nagin, 58, was convicted of accepting more than $500,000 worth of bribes and free trips from contractors in exchange for helping them clinch millions of dollars in city work when he was mayor of New Orleans, both pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina.
He was found guilty of 20 out of 21 counts in the indictment. Nagin, a Democrat who was mayor for two terms from 2002 to 2010, denied he took any bribes.