Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted today on charges that he used his office for personal gain, accepting payoffs, free trips, and gratuities from contractors while the city was struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The charges against Democrat Nagin are the outgrowth of a City Hall corruption investigation that already has resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and two businessmen and a prison sentence for a former city vendor.
Among other things, the 56-year-old Nagin is charged with:
- Accepting more than $160,000 in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman who secured millions of dollars in city contract work after the 2005 hurricane.
- Accepting at least $60,000 in payoffs from another businessman for his help in securing city contracts for architectural, engineering, and management services work.
- Accepting from several city contractors free travel and vacation expenses for trips to Hawaii, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Jamaica while in office.
- Accepting monthly payoffs from one of the businessmen mentioned above totaling $112,250 after he left office.