Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other corruption that spanned his two terms as mayor–including the chaotic years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan handed down the sentence Wednesday morning.

Nagin was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin’s support for various projects. The bribes came in the form of money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business.

The 58-year-old Democrat had defiantly denied any wrongdoing after his 2013 indictment and during his February trial.

Moments before sentencing, a subdued Nagin made a brief statement, thanking the judge for her professionalism. He made no apologies. “I trust that God’s going to work all this out,” he said.

After the sentencing, Nagin smiled and hugged supporters as he walked out of the courtroom with his wife, Seletha, and other family members and friends.


Berrigan noted the serious nature of the crimes, but cited several other factors in her decision to depart from sentencing guidelines that could have put Nagin in prison for as many as 20 years.

She said Nagin should not be cast as the leader of the scheme in which participants got millions of dollars in city work. “Mr. Nagin claimed a much, much smaller share of the profits in this conspiracy,” Berrigan said.

Nagin was alleged to have received roughly $500,000.

Berrigan noted character references showing Nagin to be a devoted son, husband and father. And she said, despite his crimes, Nagin displayed “a genuine if all too infrequent” desire to help New Orleans and its residents after the 2005 catastrophe.


Until his indictment in 2013, he was perhaps best known for a widely heard radio interview in which he angrily, and sometimes profanely, asked for stepped-up federal response in the days after levee breaches flooded most of the city during Katrina.

He also drew notoriety for impolitic remarks, such as the racially charged “New Orleans will be chocolate again” and his comment that a growing violent crime problem “keeps the New Orleans brand out there.”

Elected in 2002 with strong support from the business community and white voters, Nagin won re-election in 2006 with a campaign that sometimes played on fears among black voters that they were being left out of the city’s spotty recovery. He was limited by law to two consecutive terms, but a third term would have been unlikely, giving plunging approval ratings and the stricken city’s continued recovery struggles. {snip}


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  • The news yesterday was that his fambly was whining to the judge such niceties as: Good boy, honor roll student, great athlete, fell in with the wrong crowd, trying to turn his life around, it’s Bush fault.

    Thankfully it didn’t work.

  • On ten years in the feds, he’ll have to do 105 months of that, even with max good behavior. He’s something like 58, so he’s screwed. I hope he appreciates his hamburgers on Wednesdays.

    • r j p

      … and prison sex.

      • There was never any of that, anywhere I was, except voluntary stuff. The gay black guys liked Mexican boyfriends, who bought them commissary goodies. It’s not like you think. If one of them even tried to rape me, either I’d have killed him, or all of my friends would have.

        I hung out with car guys and planned out car builds. It was a good way to spend the time. It is also a safe topic, so nobody gets angry and starts a fight.

        • Deiter Botha

          There is all kinds pussy in prison it just smells like ass.

  • propagandaoftruth

    From king of Chocolate City down the Hershey highway to the fudge farm.

    Have fun. Say hi to Kwame…

    • Katherine McChesney

      …and Jesse Jackson, Jr.

      • r j p

        Made me laugh.
        I am thinking Rick Springfield song …. but only in a homosexual version.
        JJJr of course playing the “woman”.

      • And Rod Blagojevich.

    • CarolinaGem

      If only his chocolate brothers BHO and Holder would join him…..

      • propagandaoftruth

        Slide into the down low tank? Maybe they invite OJ.

  • Dave4088

    Afro-mericans will just say that whitey is trying to keep a good brother down. On the bright side he’ll probably run for mayor of the chocolate city again, and win, once he gets paroled from federal prison thanks to the city’s overwhelming number of chocolate denizens .

    • NoMosqueHere

      The convictions will bolster his “street cred.”

  • Puggg

    Blacks: Keeping people in my line of work busy since 1619.

    • Anglokraut

      What IS a pug’s line of work, Puggg?

      • Puggg

        Sheriff’s Deputy, mostly jail guard.

        • Lots of the white guards were really nice. I liked working for Mr. Buchberger at the chow hall at Ft. Worth. Sweet and Parkinson there were wonderful. I wish I could write to them to thank them for their kindness. I also liked the guards at Clear Creek County jail, except for Mr. Bullington, who loved hearing himself yell at us.

          • Puggg

            I’m not a nice guard and I’m not a mean guard. At the job, I keep a cold detached professional personality, on purpose.

          • Anglokraut

            Well, that’s a refreshing change from the stories of female guards getting pregnant by the inmates they’re supposed to be keeping in line.

          • One new guard became briefly friendly, but then turned cold like that. I could never do that work, as I would feel pity for some I could not help, and hate the rest for being as horrible as they are. I thus understand your detachment. The problem there is that you are managing people, and sometimes people make mistakes and can be salvaged.

  • Luca

    Well, he will definitely be in a chocolate city now.

    • Kenner

      A chocolate gated community.

      • r j p

        That’s good. I like.

      • CarolinaGem

        Funniest comment I’ve read all day!

      • LACountyRedneck

        With chocolate bars.

  • MekongDelta69

    As the stewardesses used to say when you de-planed:


  • D.B. Cooper

    NO Republican will hop in on yet another example of democratic leadership? They should be reminding us “Chocolate City” instead of remaining silent. Oh well, I’m voting straight ticket democrat anyway until all weak republicans are removed.

  • Anglokraut

    My late stepfather lived in New Orleans for eleven years, and the only thing he had to say about Nagin was “F–kin’ n!&&@^”. Come to think of it, that was pretty much the only thing he had to say about that section of the American population.

  • CarolinaGem

    Oh the irony!

    • TruthBeTold

      Irony is expecting one thing and the opposite happens.

      There is no irony here.

  • shmo123

    Maybe Ray can learn a new trade while he’s in the joint with the brothers.

    • DiversityIsDeath

      Yes, something more befitting his position in the scheme of things– like shoe shine boy.

    • Slinging slop at the show hall, most likely.

  • Rhialto

    Apparently, the great state of Louisiana had no problems with Nagin’s shenanigans.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Mr. Nagin had come into office in 2002 as a reformer from the business world and a foe of cronyism.

    That’s a laugh.

    You were the Mayor of NOLA during Katrina, Ray. You were negligent and incompetent for all the world to see and you covered by blaming President Bush. The media agreed with you.

    Looks like it didn’t work this time.

    Karma’s a b****, Ray.

    Oh, and welcome to Chocolate City, AKA, any American Prison.

  • TruthBeTold

    But we can all still agree that Katrina was Bushs’ fault, right?

    • Tim_in_Indiana

      The national media will, for the most part, ignore this story.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    My day suddenly took a turn for the better.

  • Guest

    This is one of my favorite photoshops, along with Lootie….

  • Alexandra1973

    I like this one, and Lootie….

    • M.Magog

      And now he’ll be on the “hershey Highway”

  • M.Magog

    expiring rapper would be preferable

  • Whitetrashgang

    Black people, all of them.

    • DiversityIsDeath

      Yeah, and “his many white supporters”.

  • They’ll just vote another one in and then complain that YT is oppressing them.

  • NotTooSwift


  • Some of them still like to claim that Bush had the CIA blow up the levees. It seems to me that living 40 feet below sea level, right off the Gulf of Mexico, where everyone knows there are hurricanes is a poor idea to begin with, but that doesn’t enter into their calculations.

    • dd121

      Liberals seem to believe that we can control the environment. Actually, the best we can do is adapt to it.

  • I don’t know what a city mayor earns there, but surely that would have been enough money. Since he also had a “fambly bidness”, why go overboard? Oh, snap: he’s black. Never mind. My bad.

  • Snitching in the feds generally must amount to “substantial assistance” for it to help a convict. Otherwise it just gets the snitch a quick trip into protective custody, which means 23-hour lockdown.