NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Jury selection began Monday in the federal corruption trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, lawyers said.
Nagin stands accused by several former city officials and businessmen who have taken plea deals in exchange for their testimony against the former two-term mayor he accepted bribes in exchange for offering no-bid contracts to people, the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune said. Nagin was seen walking into the courthouse Monday with a broad smile surrounded by a horde of photographers. His defense team has submitted a list of some 15 people who may be subpoenaed to testify on his behalf, though their identities have yet to be made public.
Public prosecutors have said many of the former city officials and businessmen who admitted to showering the Nagin family with money, giving him a private jet trip to a New Orleans Saints playoff game and passing business to Nagin's family-owned granite firm are scheduled to testify against the mayor.
Rumors had circulated for days the case against Nagin was headed for a last-minute plea deal with the government to avoid the potentially embarrassing, high-profile trial. As of Monday afternoon, jury selection continued and no such deal had emerged.