Ray Nagin, former New Orleans Mayor, focus of federal grand jury probe: reports


Ray Nagin, who as New Orleans Mayor rose to prominence during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, is being probed by a federal grand jury over allegations he received gifts ranging from plane tickets to materials for his family granite-countertop business.

Reuters cited a source as saying that several people linked to Nagin or the New Orleans city administration during his two mayoral terms  ending in 2010 were cooperating with the US Justice Department and the FBI.

At issue is whether Nagin received favors or items of value from vendors to the city in return for contracts they received while Nagin was in office, the source reportedly said.

Asked by WWLTV News at Armstrong International Airport on Friday whether he benefited personally while in office, he said: "This is old stuff that has been hammered for a long time."

He said of the allegations: "They're three years old, and they keep coming up. I only want an opportunity to finally deal with them. Hopefully we can have an honest, open approach where truth and justice can prevail, but I'm starting to worry about that now."

Reuters contacted the Justice Department in Washington, the US attorney in New Orleansand the FBI Special Agent in Charge, all of whom declined to comment on whether an investigation was underway.

The Times-Picayune wrote:

"The federal probe is zeroing in on Nagin along three parallel tracks: luxury travel and home maintenance provided by city technology vendors; a granite countertop installation contract that Nagin's family company got from The Home Depot; and the possibility that at least two businesses with City Hall dealings arranged for the delivery of free equipment or materials to the Nagin family's now-defunct firm."

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