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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reports to federal prison

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin got a 10-year sentence for taking bribes from business owners seeking city contracts.

By Frances Burns
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reports to federal prison
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had a lot of company as he reported to a federal prison in Texas -- his wife, his children and a host of TV news crews. UPI/A.J. Sisco | License Photo

TEXARKANA, Texas, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had a lot of company as he reported to a federal prison in Texas -- his wife, his children and a host of TV news crews.

Nagin drove himself to the Federal Correctional Institution Texarkana in a white Ford Focus, arriving about 10 minutes early for a noon deadline to surrender. His wife, Seletha, and their three children were in the car and walked with him to the guardhouse, where they said goodbye.

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The family's last moments together were recorded by TV cameras across the road from the prison entrance.

Nagin, 58, who served as mayor of New Orleans from 2002 to 2010, was convicted in February of bribery and corruption. He was sentenced to 10 years in July.

During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Nagin became a national figure, with allegations that he bungled the crisis both before the storm struck, when he assured residents who did not evacuate they would be taken care of, and afterwards. He won re-election in 2006 with 52 percent of the vote, defeating Mitch Landrieu, who is now the city's mayor.

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Nagin was indicted in 2013, with federal prosecutors charging he received more than half a million dollars in bribes in return for city contracts.

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