After more than six hours of deliberation over two days, the jury in former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's federal corruption trial found him guilty Feb. 12 of conspiracy, money laundering, nine counts of wire fraud, six counts of bribery, and filing false tax returns from 2005-2007.
He was found not guilty of one of the six counts of bribery he faced — a $10,000 payment to his sons in 2009.
Prosecuting attorneys left the courthouse shortly after the verdict was read, not stopping to speak with reporters. Nagin left court 90 minutes later with his wife Seletha Nagin and members of his defense team. The group walked the two blocks to defense attorney Robert Jenkins' office on St. Charles Avenue.
Nagin, looking grim and impassive, ignored shouted questions from reporters, speaking only once to say, "I maintain my innocence." The only reaction the former mayor showed was to a passerby in Lafayette Square, who yelled, "We got your back, Ray!" Nagin briefly looked at the man and nodded his head.
A release later that day from U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office stated, "Evidence produced at trial showed that Nagin, in his role as chief executive, devised a scheme to defraud the City of New Orleans and its citizens of his honest services through bribery and a kickback scheme, whereby Nagin used his public office and official capacity to provide favorable treatment, including awarding contracts, that benefitted business and financial interest of individuals providing him with bribes and kickbacks in the form of checks, cash, granite inventory, wire transfers, personal services, and free travel. ... In addition, trial evidence proved that Nagin participated in a money laundering conspiracy and filed false tax returns for the years 2005 to 2008."
U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan ordered Nagin to home detention pending sentencing, which will be held in Berrigan's courtroom at 9 a.m. June 11 — the date of Nagin's 58th birthday.