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Ex-mayor of New Orleans found guilty on 20 of 21 counts of felony charges

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The trial of the ex-mayor of New Orleans, La., Ray Nagin, ended yesterday (Feb. 12) with with Nagin being found guilty of 20 of the 21 felony charges filed against him according to news reports.

Nagin served 2 full terms in New Orleans as the mayor and brought the city through the major disaster of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was during the rebuilding of the city that Nagin came under fire for allegedly taking bribes from companies to secure bids and contracts for work in the city, although misconduct actually started before this time.

The federal trial for the former mayor lasted for nine days and the jury returned their verdict of guilty of 20 of the 21 counts against Nagin. The charges against Nagin included multiple counts of bribery and fraud, in which he received over $200,000, a trip for his entire family to Hawaii, kickbacks and other gifts.

The jury started deliberations on Monday afternoon after closing arguments and lasted for three hours. Tuesday deliberations were halted due to a medical condition with one of the jurors and resumed on Wednesday.

Nagin's attorney, Robert Jenkins, told reporters outside the courthouse Wednesday that his client intends to appeal the verdict. Nagin made a statement to reporters also, saying, "I maintain my innocence."

There has not been a date scheduled for sentencing at this time, however, Nagin could get up to 20 years in prison.

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