Former Mayor Nagin to be arraigned Wednesday - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Former Mayor Nagin to be arraigned Wednesday

Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin

Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin will appear in federal court Wednesday for the first time since being indicted last month.

Ray Nagin faces 21 federal charges including conspiracy, bribery and money laundering. Wednesday afternoon, he'll go before a magistrate judge in his first appearance at court.

FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti says, "He's going to go in. He's going to read the charges to him and he's going to enter pleas of not guilty to all of those counts, I'm sure."

Nagin's attorney, Robert Jenkins, makes no secret of the meetings he and the former mayor have had with the government. But so far it appears no deal has been struck.

"The more I look at this, this more I'm hopeful for him that his intellect will outstrip his ego and he'll figure this out because if he goes to trial, he's going to be like a rooster on the highway with an F-150, which is the United States government, going right over him. Because they're going to roll right through them," Raspanti commented.

Nagin is accused of accepting bribes from city contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in work for the city. The 24-page indictment names the contractors, all of whom pleaded guilty to various charges, including giving Nagin money. They're expected to testify against the former mayor.

Nagin's own attorney believes the government will threaten to indict Nagin's two sons, in exchange for a guilty plea. On January 18, Robert Jenkins said, "There's always been this indication about whether or not the children or something would be indicted. So at this point they're not. So that's probably something the government will probably say, 'Look, we didn't indict them, will you come in?'"

If the case does proceed to trial and Nagin is found guilty of all the charges against him, Raspanti says he could face a stiff sentence. "He's definitely in double digits if he goes to trial. They're going to pile it all on," Raspanti commented.

But Nagin's first focus must be his arraignment Wednesday. If he does in fact plead not guilty, he'll need to come up with money to post bond, as Raspanti feels confident he won't be remanded into federal custody.

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