Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted Wednesday on 20 counts of federal corruption charges.
Nagin, 57, was indicted on Jan. 18 on 21 charges, including bribery, wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and filing false tax returns. He was accused of accepting hundreds of thousands in dollars in bribes from contractors and businessmen.
According to federal prosecutors in Louisiana, Nagin "used his public office and official capacity to provide favorable treatment, including awarding contracts, that benefitted business and financial interest of individuals providing him with bribes and kickbacks in the form of checks, cash, granite inventory, wire transfers, personal services, and free travel."
Nagin's corruption allegedly began before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but continued afterward, during which the mayor rose to political fame by speaking out against federal recovery efforts.
Before the ruling Wednesday, Nagin told the Associated Press, "I've been at peace with this for a long time. I'm good." During the dramatic trial, 26 of 31 witnesses testified on behalf of the prosecution.
Since he left office in 2010, Nagin has been living in Dallas and working on the speaking circuit, after founding an emergency preparedness firm and self-publishing a book, Katrina Secrets.
Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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