A federal jury has found the former mayor of New Orleans guilty of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and favors from businessmen while in office from 2003 to 2010.
Ray Nagin, 57, received a lot of media attention during his campaign for being new to politics, having an interest in reform and for his anti-corruption stance. Despite this, prosecutors successfully painted him as the center of a kickback scheme in which he received compensation in the form of cash, vacations, and airfare equaling more than $200,000 from businessmen who sought contracts or favors from the city.
Nagin, who served as a cable television executive before his stint in office, completed two-terms as mayor before leaving in 2010. He had little to say as he left the courthouse on Feb. 12.
“I maintain my innocence,” Nagin said to CNN reporters.
During the trial, which lasted two weeks, businessman who pleaded guilty to bribing Nagin took the stand and told of the first-class airfare to Jamaica, trips on private jets and limousine rides through New York City according to the January 2013 indictment.
A CNN article reveals that when Nagin took the stand in his own defense he frequently answered questions stating that he couldn’t recall who had paid for several of his first-class trips or perks.
He will reportedly face up to 20 years in prison. His lead attorney Robert Jenkins said 14- to 17 years is more likely.
“We did the best we could do,” Jenkins told reporters.