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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin indicted on 21 counts of corruption

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By Doug Powers  •  January 19, 2013 02:21 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

During a 2011 appearance promoting his book “Water Damaged Bus Restoration for Dummies” “Katrina’s Secrets,” former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said “race and class and politics played in just about every aspect” of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He left out “corruption” (or is that covered under the “politics” umbrella?).

From ABC News:

Federal prosecutors today announced a 21-count indictment against former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, accused of enriching himself as the city struggled to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Nagin is accused of using the office of mayor to steer city projects to business associates who, in turn, allegedly paid kickbacks and bribes and flew him on lavish free trips to Hawaii, Jamaica, and Las Vegas.

Nagin was charged with bribery, honest service wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and filing false tax returns.

“The defendant C. Ray Nagin, knowingly devised a scheme and artifice to defraud the City of New Orleans and its citizens of his honest services through bribery and a kickback scheme, whereby Mayor Nagin used his public office and his official capacity to provide favorable treatment that benefitted the business and financial interests of individuals providing him with bribery/kickback payoffs in the form of checks, cash, granite inventory, wire transfers personal services and free travel,” the indictment said.

Complicating matters for Nagin is the fact that he had set aside bail money for just such an emergency, but was keeping it in William Jefferson’s freezer.

If you don’t know what political party Nagin belongs to, read the entire ABC News story and by the time you’re finished you… still won’t know. Ditto for USA Today, CNN, WaPo and the LA Times. The AP and NOLA are two places where you can get that hard to find piece of information.

We’ll close with an item from the “promises are made to be broken” file:

In inauguration remarks May 6, 2002, Nagin promised a City Hall “where permits and licenses are provided quickly, predictably and honestly; where contracts are awarded based on what you can do, not who you know.”

Heckuva job, eh?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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