A federal jury has found Ray Nagin guilty of bribery and fraud. The former New Orleans mayor, 57, was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, in an indictment that included 21 counts. He was found guilty on 20 of those counts.
Prosecutors also said Nagin accepted perks such as free travel and played a role in funneling money and granite to Stone Age, a company run by his sons. The counts cover a large portion of Nagin's two terms as mayor from 2002-2010, a tenure that included the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005.
A full conviction could have meant a prison sentence of more than 20 years and fines of more than $1 million. U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan turned the case over to jurors around midday Monday, instructing them to examine each count against Nagin individually.
The verdict comes days after Nagin sat for hours of questioning by federal prosecutor Matt Coman, who presented emails, credit card statements and other records in an attempt to undermine Nagin's insistence that he is innocent.
"You sold your office, didn't you?" Coman asked Nagin at one point, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
"No, I did not," the former mayor answered.