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Former Louisiana public servants report to prison 

  Last week brought days of reckoning for three former city officials, including former Mayor Ray Nagin, who filed for bankruptcy in May and is scheduled to report to federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, Sept. 8 to begin serving a 10-year sentence. Nagin's longtime attorney, Robert Jenkins, filed a motion to withdraw from representing the former mayor, saying Nagin no longer could pay him. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan ruled Nagin would henceforth be represented by a public defender. In a court filing, Nagin told the judge he had less than $25 in his checking account and that his family was subsisting on $360 a month in food stamps.

  On Sept. 4, Greg Meffert — Nagin's technology officer who ended up testifying against his former boss — was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon to 30 months in prison. Meffert pleaded guilty in 2010 to taking kickbacks, but cut a plea deal with the feds in exchange for his cooperation against Nagin and former city vendor Mark St. Pierre. Meffert faced a potential eight-year sentence. He was ordered to report to prison by Jan. 4, 2015.

  Meanwhile, former New Orleans City Councilwoman and State Rep. Renee Gill Pratt reported to federal prison in Marianna, Florida (north of Panama City) last week to begin serving a four-year sentence. Gill Pratt, who was convicted on a federal charge of racketeering in 2011 after an earlier trial resulted in a hung jury, had been out of jail since her conviction.

  She sought a new trial this year, claiming that anonymous comments left on by former assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone may have influenced the jury, a practice Gill Pratt's attorney called "prejudicial blogging." U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle rejected that argument, holding that the online comments had no effect on the verdict. He ordered Gill Pratt to report to prison — three years after her conviction.


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