New Orleans, LA — Ray Nagin, the former mayor of New Orleans, has been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison. The 58-year old entrepreneur-turned-politician was found guilty back in February of fraud, bribery and other related charges. His crimes took place both before and after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city back in August 2005.
Nagin was initially viewed as a hero for not abandoning his residents, and for restoring the city of New Orleans to what it was before. But the tables soon turned, when it was discovered that Nagin was just another corrupt politician.
He was convicted of accepting more than $500,000 in bribes (including cash, free vacations, and truckloads of free granite for his family business). All in all, he was found guilty of 20 of 21 counts in the indictment.
He was reportedly facing a 20-year sentence, but his attorney petitioned the court for a lighter sentence, arguing that his client is a first time offender with no criminal record. His attorney also pointed out that former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards received just a 10-year sentence in a similar public corruption scheme.
His lawyer’s pleas seemed to have worked because the judge only sentenced him to 10 years, half of what prosecutors wanted.
Meanwhile, residents in New Orleans are divided. Some agree with the sentencing, while others still say Nagin was a good mayor.