Former New Orleans Mayor and Cox Communications executive C. Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from city contractors during the years he led the Crescent City.
Nagin was convicted in February in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on 20 of 21 counts that he accepted bribes, free trips, gratuities and free granite for his family’s business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman. Nagin, who also must pay $82,000 in restitution, maintained his innocence throughout the trial, according to reports.
According to the New York Times, prosecutors were pushing for a heavier sentence – 15 years – but U.S. District Court Judge Helen G. Berrigan said that Nagin received a far smaller share of profits from the scheme compared to other members of the group. According to the January indictment, Nagin received $200,000 in cash, trips to Hawaii and Jamaica and “truckloads” of granite for his family’s granite-countertop business. In return, contractors received about $5 million in city business.