Ex New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, who was the face of strength during the time Hurricane Katrina pummeled the city, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on corruption charges.
Charges announced Friday, January 18th claims Nagrin milked consultants and contractors of more than $230,000 in bribes and kickbacks. Other illegal dealings involved free granite for his family business worth about $50,000, money for personal services and free trips.
Nagin was also accused of money laundering and filing false tax returns from 2005 to 2008.
In an interview given to Al Jazeera, Special Agent in charge of the FBI New Orleans Field Office Michael Anderson declared that the charges "should serve as a reminder to current and former public officials that, in the interest of full accountability, the FBI pursues corruption even after an offical leaves office".
During the end of Nagin's administration, rumors circulated of corruption that troubled the mayor greatly during the final moments of his regime. Records obtained disclosed that Nagin's illegal activity may have started a year or two before Katrina devastated the surrounding area.
Once Katrina hit, millions of dollars in building contracts went to businesses giving kickbacks or bribes to Nagin. Several businessmen have already pleaded guilty for conspiracy in the corruption case and have co-operated with federal authorities in exchange for their testimony.
Nagin faces a prison term of 5 to 20 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if convicted.