New federal charges could spell more trouble for Nagin - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New federal charges could spell more trouble for Nagin

Ray Nagin (file) Ray Nagin (file)
New Orleans, La. -

A new bill of information out of federal court could pose new problems for former mayor Ray Nagin.

The charge involves new allegations of bribes from a businessman to a "Public Official 'A'", who was an agent of the city of New Orleans from May 2002 through May 2010 -- the same timeframe in which Nagin served as mayor.

Businessman Rodney Williams, formerly with Three Fold Consultants, now joins a list of businessmen indicating they will cooperate with the feds in an investigation into "public official A", who a source says is Nagin.

FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti said, "There appears to be seven or eight people who appear willing to testify against Ray Nagin, so this case appears to be ripe."

The bill of information alleges that Williams and others committed three "overt acts":

  1. "Beginning in or near January, 2008, in connection with obtaining work with the City of New Orleans, Rodney Williams, provided payoffs to Public Official 'A.'  In completing these payoffs, the defendant caused electronic wire transmissions to travel outside the State of Louisiana and across state lines for the purpose of executing the scheme and artifice to defraud;
  2. "From in or near November, 2007, and continuing through in or near May, 2010, Public Official 'A' used his public office and his official capacity to benefit defendant's business interests in exchange for the payoffs from defendant, Rodney Williams;
  3. "Defendant, Rodney Williams, and Public Official 'A' also created and used corporate documents to disguise the true nature of the payoffs."

Raspanti said, "Whenever you have a paper trail it aids your prosecution because it's not just people testifying, it's documentation to show the bread crumbs to grandma's house to where they're going."

The charges out of the U.S. Attorney's office come the day after Jim Letten recommitted to the job at hand, in spite of a major shakeup and a number of investigations into his office due to unauthorized web comments.

A source says Williams' Three Fold consultants received a number of no-bid city contracts. FOX 8 has also found that Three Fold has been sued in Jefferson Parish for alleged failure to perform work in a GO Zone apartment project on the west bank.   That lawsuit involves work performed on the Villa D'Ames apartment complex on Fourth Street in Marrero.

Earlier this year Frank Fradella, the former CEO of Home Solutions of America, pleaded guilty to bribing that same Public Official "A"  in exchange for promised city work. He too is expected to cooperate in any further federal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing at City Hall.

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