Once hailed as a hero after leading New Orleans through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, former Mayor Ray Nagin is now facing a 21-count indictment.
Federal prosecutors are accusing Ray, who served as New Orleans’ mayor from 2002 until 2010, of using his power and office for personal gain during a time when his city was in shambles, according to ABC News. The charges reportedly include 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," read the indictment.
The alleged bribery came in the form of travel via first-class tickets and private jet, limousine services, according to the document, and was received by Ray in exchange for waiving penalties owed on a tax bill from the city by an unnamed businessman.
The indictment also names a specific incident in which one of Ray’s family members was given a $10,000 kickback one day after a $1 million Katrina sidewalk repair program was set up.
Ray, 56, is the first mayor in the 295-year history of New Orleans to be indicted under federal corruption charges and will likely be arraigned at the end of this month.
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