NEW ORLEANS — Former mayor Ray Nagin, the businessman-turned-politician who became the worldwide face of the city after Hurricane Katrina, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday.
Nagin, 58, was ordered to report to federal prison Sept. 8 and to pay restitution of $82,000. He was found guilty Feb. 12 of fraud, bribery and related charges involving crimes that took place before and after Katrina devastated the city in August 2005.
Prosecutors immediately objected to the sentence, which falls well below typical guidelines that called for 15-20 years.
“What Ray Nagin did was sell his office over and over and over again,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Coman said outside the courthouse. “The damage that Ray Nagin inflicted upon this community … is incalculable. We as a community need not and should not accept public corruption.”
Coman said a decision on whether to appeal will be made by U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
Judge Ginger Berrigan determined that Nagin did not have a leadership role in the criminal conspiracy, saying all defendants are “equally culpable.”
“Mr. Nagin’s crimes were motivated in part by a deeply misguided desire to provide for those closest to him,” she said.
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