The former mayor of New Orleans has been sentenced and he will be spending the next decade behind bars. Ray Nagin, the mayor who brought hope back to residents after Hurricane Katrina then let them down and has been convicted of bribery, money laundering, fraud and tax violations. According to the Times Picayune on Wednesday, Ray Nagin must report to federal prison no later than Sept. 8.
Nagin was accused and convicted of a host of horrible acts both while he was in office and after. Out of the 21 counts against him, Nagin was convicted of twenty. He accepted thousands of dollars in bribes and kick backs. Nagin and his family took many trips on the dime of those he was giving favor.
The indictment against Ray Nagin stated that he had received more than $200,000 in bribes. Additionally, his family took trips to Hawaii and Jamaica. He was given the use of private jets and limousines as well as many other perks while during his eight year stint as mayor. According to the indictment, those who paid off Nagin were awarded more than $5 million in city contracts.
Nagin plans to appeal the 10-year sentence handed down on Wednesday despite the fact that 15 years was recommended. In a surprising twist, rather than following the recommended 15-year sentence or even going higher, a judge opted to soften the blow for Ray Nagin. He was given a punishment of 10 years after the judge explained that others involved in the dirty politics with Nagin made out better financially than he did.
Corruption in Louisiana is nothing new and politicians are known to pull some shady stunts while in office. Nagin isn't the first, nor is he the last, to use his public office for profit rather than to fulfill the promises he made in order to get elected. Just in recent history, former Lousiana governor Edwin Edwards and former U.S. Representative William Jefferson were convicted on similar charges and are currently serving sentences at the Oakdale Federal Correction Complex in central Louisiana.
Attorneys for Ray Nagin are asking that he be placed in the low security Oakdale facility alongside Jefferson and Edwards. Others argue that he shouldn't be given special treatment or be placed with former colleagues. What do you think of Ray Nagin's sentence? Is it too long or too short? Should he be allowed to serve time alongside fellow disgraced Louisiana politicians?