Nagin: Only one contractor-paid trip

May 2, 2009 at 2:35 PM

NEW ORLEANS, May 2 (UPI) -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says he took only one trip paid for by a city vendor, not multiple trips as a plaintiff's lawyer alleges.

Attorneys for two companies suing New Orleans city government over a controversial crime-camera project say Nagin awarded the contract to a well-connected competitor after being plied with multiple free trips, but Nagin told a local television station Friday he could only remember one trip to Hawaii.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported that when Nagin was asked during a morning appearance on WVUE-TV about media reports of additional trips that may have been financed by the contract-winner, NetMethods, Nagin said the trip to Hawaii "is the only one that I can recall doing with Greg Meffert."

Meffert was the city's former chief technology officer, who is testified that NetMethods picked up the costs for the Hawaii trip, which the Meffert and Nagin families took together in December 2004, the newspaper said.

"There's some other charges on a credit card statement that suggest I may have taken" another trip, he told the station, but added, "nobody can verify that."

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