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Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin sentenced to 10 years

A federal judge handed Nagin a relatively light sentence -- 10 years -- for accepting bribes in return for city contracts while he served as mayor of New Orleans from 2002 to 2010.

By Gabrielle Levy
Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin sentenced to 10 years
Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin leaves the federal courthouse with his Attorney Robert Jenkins, July 9,2014, after he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Nagin, 58, was found guilty Feb. 12 of fraud, bribery and related charges involving crimes that took place before and after Katrina devastated the city in August 2005. He was ordered to report to federal prison Sept. 8, and also pay restitution of $82,000. UPI/A.J. Sisco | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for his February conviction on 20 counts of corruption.

Judge Ginger Berrigan, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, handed down the sentence Wednesday while declining to give Nagin the 12 to 30-year maximum allowed by federal sentencing guidelines.

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Nagin was found guilty of accepting kickbacks and payoffs for city contracts while serving as mayor from 2002 to 2010.

During the seven-day trial, more than 30 witnesses testified, including some of the businessmen who had already pleaded guilty to bribing the Democratic mayor for city contracts. Prosecutors described a pattern of transactions in which a company would come to Nagin after trying get city work, and he would ask them for a favor, most often in the form of a payment to Nagin's granite countertop business, but also in perks such as trips or gifts.

In sum, prosecutors said Nagin collected more than half a million dollars in benefits, while contractors ended up with millions in city work.

In May, Berrigan made a preliminary order for Nagin to pay back every penny he earned through his dealings in asset forfeiture.

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Wednesday, that restitution fine was reduced to $82,000 on top of the prison time.

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