February 13, 2014

The ex-Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, guilty of taking $200,000 in bribes from businessmen who got favors and contracts worth $5 million.

He'll go to prison, for up to 20 years, CNN reports, quoting a local lawyer who says the trial was "too painful actually to watch," because Nagin "did a belly flop" and "just looked terrible," taking the stand in his own defense after the prosecutors had "just swamped him," with the businessmen — who'd already pleaded guilty — testifying about paying the bribes. 

38 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

I think the next missing sentence is important in your extract:

During the two-week trial, prosecutors brought to the stand a string of businessmen who had already pleaded guilty to bribing Nagin. His defense did little to challenge their stories, Fanning said.

surfed said...

There will be more Nagin's and Katrina's. It is N' Orleans after all. A place where graft, corruption, hurricanes and drag queens are a way of life...a way of life that doesn't include the rest of the United States. Which is the charm of the place.

southcentralpa said...

Gee, must have been some kind of swash-buckling independent, because it doesn't mention his party.

Humperdink said...

"As he sought re-election in 2006, with much of the city's African-American population displaced by storm damage, Nagin was blasted for insisting that New Orleans would remain a "chocolate" city."

A wee bit less so today.

duntov283 said...

These same things happen in Washington, D.C, do they not?

Not the trial of Ray Nagin, but the providing of campaign money in exchange for the favor of becoming a ambassador to a country one never has seen.

Or perhaps the favor of directing of government funds to one's business. Or the receiving of legislative favors.

A small fish was caught in New Orleans, while whales swim freely in the D.C., their presence not questioned by the fawning acolytes of the President and the Congresspersons.

The Drill SGT said...


a sentence from the USA Today story says more about the definition of corruption in LA, than about Nagin:

All that changed today, when a jury decided Nagin would be the first mayor in the city's 296-year history to be convicted of corruption.

FleetUSA said...

Oh yes, and Nagin is a Democrat.

Clyde said...

Not a word in the article about Mayor Nagin's party affiliation. Surprise, surprise, surprise. If he'd been a Republican, it would have been part of the headline.

sane_voter said...

I thought it was Bush's fault. Or Brownie's

David said...

A lousy 200k. Of course that may be the iceberg's tip. Damn fool.

LarsPorsena said...

The only time the word 'Democrat' comes up is in the comments below the article. Typical lame-stream reporting. If he were an 'R' it would be in the headline.

Timeforchange said...

Huffington not a word about Nagin.
I wonder why?

Ann Althouse said...

"I think the next missing sentence is important in your extract…"

Why?

It's a defense strategy. Do you know enough about the witnesses and the facts to have an opinion about why it was a bad strategy? Or are you assuming it was a good strategy and that the lack of effective cross-examination raised the inference that they were telling the truth?

I'll bet the prosecution elicited the testimony that they had already made a plea deal. What else did Nagin have?

Martha said...

Prosecutors proved Nagin took $500,000 in bribes and thousands more in unauthorized use of the city's charge card for birthday and anniversary dinners, clothes, lunches in French Quarter restaurants, etc.

He thought he deserved it because he had taken a steep pay cut by becoming mayor--he had made $400,000 a year as a Cox Cable executive.

Soon after Nagin's election, his teenage son was arrested in NYC after he used a fake credit card in a department store to buy designer clothes. That was the first sign that maybe ethics were not part of the Nagin ethos.

Nagin seemed shocked by the verdict. I think he still thinks he did nothing wrong.

Hagar said...

Already in 2005 Nagin impressed me as not very bright.

damikesc said...

Party affiliation bizarrely not mentioned in story. Wonder why.

John Lynch said...

Anyone else surprised that the dollar amount of the bribes was so low? Half a mil ain't that much. Did the feds miss most of it, or was mayoral influence really cheap to buy?

William said...

This is the first I heard of this trial. The case was completely swamped by news that the NJ governor had closed two lanes of traffic on the GWB.

YoungHegelian said...

The bitches set him up!

elkh1 said...

Obama is guilty of taking $150,000 "contributions" from billionaire bundler Kaiser who got Stimulus worth $535 million.

southcentralpa said...
Gee, must have been some kind of swash-buckling independent, because it doesn't mention his party.

Repeat: Lincoln was a Democrat, George Wallace was a Republican, Jim Crow law was pushed by Republicans... Repeat...

Larry J said...

"The ex-Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, guilty of taking $200,000 in bribes from businessmen who got favors and contracts worth $5 million."

Had he been a Republican, the headline would've read:

"The Republican ex-Mayor of New Orleans, Republican Ray Nagin, guilty of being a Republican and taking $200,000 in bribes from Republican businessmen who got favors and contracts worth $5 million. By the way, Nagin is a Republican."

EMD said...

200K? What a piker.

Ann Althouse said...

"200K? What a piker."

I know!

If you're going to risk going to prison for 20 years...

Chef Mojo said...

Interestingly, the Washington Post does mention party affiliation in the second paragraph of their article.

Progress!

Chef Mojo said...

It's nice to see karma at work here. GWB was unjustly blamed for the overall Katrina response, when it was this guy and LA governor Blanco - both Democrats - who were actually responsible. But they both blamed Bush, and the press went howling after him like the obedient hounds they are.

Karma. She is a bitch.

Paul said...

And did they note... he is a DEMOCRAT?

Nah, them dems are angles, right?

Tarrou said...

Aaaaaaaaand I called it. You know what word never entered CNN's vocabulary for an article about a convicted corrupt politician? "Democrat"

Repeat it with me, reporters. When the crooked bastard is conservative,headline reads: "Republican with close ties to [Current left-wing bogeyman] convicted!" If it's a liberal "Some one no one's heard of with no affiliation that can be discovered once did something bad".

There you go, Journalism 101. CNN must have been the professor's special favorite.

Tarrou said...

Oh this is just too good to be true. I was thinking about how you could prove that CNN deliberately leaves out partisan information when it advantages Dems. Hard to establish, but bear with me.

Here's CNN on Tom DeLay, when he was convicted, first bit of the article:

"AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - Former Republican leader Tom DeLay was sentenced...."

And here's CNN when his conviction was overturned.

"(CNN) – Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's conviction on money laundering charges was overturned Thursday....."

gadfly said...

It is all George Bush's fault - sending that awful hurricane into N'awlins.

John said...

Speaking of Democrats, I learned something interesting from Dallek's LBJ bio. Lots of things interesting but one having to do with Wisconsin.

In 1964 DEMOCRAT George Wallace, governor of Alabama was at the height of his fame as a segregationist. He had been on national TV blocking admittance of a black student to the university with his own body.

He had sent state troopers to stop the Selma marchers using violence.

And in the 1964 presidential primaries, he got 34% of the votes cast in caring, progressive, Wisconsin.

John Henry

Unknown said...

As a resident of New Orleans, everyone here should know that because of the U.S. Attorney commenting scandal down here, Nagin may still get off. His attorneys and others are expecting another shoe to drop. A bunch of criminals already got off the hook in a twisted landfill/bribery scheme because of several US attorneys commenting on NOLA.com. Nagin's defense was horrible, but that may be because they know something the general public do not.

http://www.wwl.com/Lawyer--Allegations-could-overturn-Nagin-convictio/18383093

People forget that Arron Broussard, President of the Parish directly across the river from New Orleans, is already in jail serving time. Both he and Nagin were in office during and after Katrina.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/02/aaron_broussard_transferred_fr.html


There is very little down here which isn't corrupt. This is the same cesspool that produced the first federal judge to be impeached in a zillion years Judge Porteous .

The judiciary is notoriously corrupt, anyone can google "wrinkled robe" and see what qualifies as justice down here. Its the culture that produced Judge Porteous, and its the rule down here, not the exception. They, meaning the judges who went to jail or were disbarred during "wrinkled robe," and there were many, admit to the culture.

Im dealing with one of the judges who was investigated right now. My late father's estate is being stolen through attorney fees and mismanagement. The judge, Ross LaDart will not remove the executrix, the whole estate is going to her attorneys, 300,000 dollars. After a trial for removal of the executrix, i found out that the Judge had hired the executirx's attorney as a special master without disclosing to me that he was doing so. Even though

B. A judge of any court, trial or appellate, may be recused when he:

(1) Has been associated with an attorney during the latter's employment in the cause;


and


(4) A judge shall not make unnecessary appointments. A judge should exercise the power of appointment impartially and on the basis of merit. A judge should avoid appointments which tend to create the appearance of impropriety.


and


C. Recusation. A judge should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned and shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which disqualification is required by law or applicable Supreme Court rule. In all other instances, a judge should not recuse himself or herself.


and

2) At the time of the hearing of any contested issue in the cause, has continued to employ, to represent him personally, the attorney actually handling the cause (not just a member of that attorney's firm), and in this case the employment shall be disclosed to each party in the cause;


The "leaders" down here will rob you with a pen.

Stick said...

Mardi Gras T-shirt after Katrina:

Drink 'til Ray Nagin makes sense.

Unknown said...

Still the best http://www.flickr.com/photos/sanfranannie/243365652/

Gene said...

Everytime I think of Nagin I am reminded of that photo of the school bus parking lot with flood water halfway up the buses' front doors. During Katrina Nagin could have sent those buses early on to save lives. But he thought it was beneath the dignity of the citizens of New Orleans to have to ride school buses like they were kids.

RecChief said...

What political party is he from? I didn't see it anywhere

kentuckyliz said...

Keepin' the black man down.

kentuckyliz said...

Why did he leave Cox Cable? Was it by choice? Two years of salary would have been greater than the value of the bribes taken. Why do people risk so much for so little?

John Clifford said...

I grew up in Louisiana. A great state, with great people... but there are enough people there with a zero-sum mentality that corruption is common.

I was in New Orleans on business Wednesday, when Nagin's conviction was announced. I was saddened, but can't say I was shocked. It does clarify what happened during and after Katrina as due to malfeasance instead of misfeasance. In fact, the whole sorry story of Katrina... the insufficient levees, the insufficient maintenance, etc., is the end result of corruption, of politicians who are in it not to help their community but instead to line their own pockets. When something finally goes wrong and we are supposed to be able to rely on what government has built, people die instead.

The scary thing is, the exact same story seems to be replicating itself for Obamacare (people involved lining their pockets instead of building a viable system... from the congressional staffers to the politicians to the website contractors to the insurance companies). Just as it did for the Stimulus Bill and its Solyndras et al.