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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Ray ‘Chocolate Town’ Nagin indicted on 21 corruption charges

USA Today

Ray Nagin, former New Orleans mayor and the public face of the battered city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, has been indicted by a grand jury on 21 federal corruption charges.

The indictment, released Friday, alleges Nagin awarded lucrative city contracts to

contractors in exchange for more than $200,000 in kickbacks and first-class trips to Hawaii, Jamaica and Las Vegas.

Nagin, 56, served two four-year terms as mayor, from 2002 to 2010, and currently lives in Frisco, Tex., outside Dallas. If convicted on all charges, he faces more than 15 years in prison. Nagin becomes the first mayor in the city’s 295-year history to be indicted under federal corruption charges.

Nagin could not be reached at phone numbers listed at his Frisco address. He’s due in federal court Jan. 31 to be arraigned by a federal magistrate.

“This is a sad day for the city of New Orleans,” current Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement. “Today’s indictment of former Mayor Ray Nagin alleges serious violations of the public’s trust. Public corruption cannot and will not be tolerated.”

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