TIME new orleans

New Orleans Ex-Mayor’s Corruption Trial Begins

Ray Nagin facing 20 years in jail for allegedly taking money and vacations in return for city contracts

Former mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin is scheduled to appear in court Monday to face federal corruption charges that could put him behind bars for up to 20 years.

Prosecutors accuse Nagin of accepting over $200,000, along with family vacations and benefits to his family’s granite countertop business, in exchange for millions of dollars worth of city contracts and taxpayer money. The 21 counts are not related to Hurricane Katrina rebuilding.

Business associates who allegedly flew the ex-mayor to New York City on a private jet and on first class vacations to Jamaica and Hawaii in exchange for city contracts are expected to testify, USA Today reports.

Nagin, who served as mayor from 2002 to 2010, was widely criticized for his slow and ineffectual response to Hurricane Katrina, which left 80 percent of the city underwater in 2005.

Nagin denies any wrongdoing.

[USA Today]

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