Former New Orleans mayor, C. Ray Nagin, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on federal corruption charges today. The sentence was less than the recommended 15 years, due to a lack of evidence.
The deciding judge, Judge Ginger Berrigan, told The New York Times that “Mr. Nagin claimed a much, much smaller share of the profits of the crime than any other member of the group.” One unnamed federal prosecutor believed Nagin’s testimony was merely, “a performance that can only be summed up by his astounding unwillingness to accept any responsibility.”
Starting with an arrest in January 2013 for taking bribes in the form of cash and trips, Nagin was then found guilty on 20 counts in February. Most of the bribes came after Hurricane Katrina when contractors flooded the city in search of work. Nagin’s poll numbers rapidly declined during his second term, when his Katrina clean up efforts, flopped.
Though his lawyer and wife are asking for leniency, Matthew M. Coman, an assistant to the United States attorney, finds Nagin’s actions more than deserving of punishment. “These repeated violations, at the expense of the citizens of New Orleans in a time when honest leadership was needed most, do not deserve leniency,” says Coman.
Albeit the city’s opinion, Nagin is out on bond and trying to stay positive. He was quoted during his sentencing, saying, “I’m trusting God is going to work all this out.”