Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D), who came to national notoriety after his desperate plea for federal help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was charged with 21 counts of corruption on Friday following a years-long investigation into contract manipulation at city hall.
The Times-Picayune said that he is the first mayor in the city’s history to be indicted by a grand jury on corruption charges.
Among the charges, Nagin faces six counts of bribery, nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of filing false tax returns and a single count of both conspiracy and money laundering.
The charges stem from alleged kickbacks and bribes involving his family’s granite company, which stood to benefit from much of his under-the-table dealings.
The indictment also claims Nagin accepted over $72,000 in bribes in exchange for no-bid contracts from the city, and that he accepted lucrative paid travel and lodging from business interests dealing with the city.
Prosecutors have threatened to also indict Nagin’s sons if he does not accept a plea bargain, according to The TImes Picayune.
Photo: Flickr user jeffschwartz, creative commons licensed.