Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Reports to Federal Prison

By Joey Lehrman | Email the Author | Follow on Twitter
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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reported to the minimum-securitiy federal prison in Texarakana, TX yesterday morning to begin his 10-year sentence stemming from corruption charges. The former mayor maintained innocence throughout the trial and will allegedly be appealing the ruling, albeit from behind bars. Joined by his family, Nagin arrived at the facility approximately 10 minutes before the noon deadlines set for him to appear. 

Read more about Nagin's trial and NOLA.com's ongoing coverage of the former mayor here.

It was a relatively uneventful end to the turbulant and very public trial of the mayor that was the city's most visible leader during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2006. In the wake of the storm, many residents rallied around the mayor, who was a vocal critic of the state and federal recovery efforts in the Crescent City. However, the mayor's reputation is now largely tarnished due to the bribery and fraud charges he was convicted of earlier this year. Nagin was found guilty on 20 of 21 charges in February. 

The prospect of an appeal, however, could be somewhat unlikely, given the financial duress that Nagin and his family made public throughout his trail. Although Nagin was once a highly paid executive for Entergy, the local utility in Lousiana (making as much as $400,000 at the peak of his tenure), Nagin claims that his current bank account is all but exhausted:
In a letter to U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan before he was sentenced in July, Nagin's wife said he had been unable to find work, and the family was collecting food stamps to make ends meet. On financial forms he submitted last week in order to be appointed a public defender to handle his appeal, Nagin said he had $23.65 in his bank account.
And over the summer, Nagin's attorney officially resigned from the case, stating he wouldn't lead any appeal process on account of his client being unable to afford the legal services.

Check back to www.joeylehrman.net for ongoing coverage of the appeals process. 

Joey Lehrman is a retired teacher with over 40 years of experience in the New Orleans public school system. Since retiring, he has transitioned to sharing his experience and perspective and all things New Orleans through a variety of blogs, news-sites, and social networks.

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