by: Campbell Roberton
Ray Nagin, a former corporate executive who became mayor in 2002 pledging to modernize city government and instead became an emblem of government dysfunction in the months and years after Hurricane Katrina, was found guilty in federal court on Wednesday on 20 counts of bribery and fraud.
He was found guilty of all but one of 21 counts, including bribery, wire fraud and filing false tax returns. Sentencing has been set for June 11, Nagin’s 58th birthday. Nagin could face 20 years in prison by federal sentencing guidelines, said Tania Tetlow, a Tulane University law professor and a former federal prosecutor.
On his walk out of the courtroom and across chilly Lafayette Square to his lawyer’s office, Nagin, who will be confined to his home near Dallas for now, kept up a stoic demeanor in the middle of a swarm of cameras. He told reporters he maintained his innocence, and his lawyer, Robert Jenkins, said Nagin intended to appeal.