Lee Zurik subpoenaed for Nagin trial - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Lee Zurik subpoenaed for Nagin trial

New Orleans, La. -

New Orleans, La. - New signs that the bribery and conspiracy trial of former mayor Ray Nagin will go on as planned in one week.

Subpoenas are now going out to potential witnesses to testify including FOX 8's Lee Zurik, who first uncovered irregularities in the former mayor's calendar four years ago.

Judge Ginger Berrigan's most recent ruling denying attorney Robert Jenkins' last ditch motion to dismiss the charges appears to set the stage for Nagin's bribery trial to begin next Monday as planned.

"Come to Jesus is over. It's time to load your guns and put your mouthpiece in," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

Thirteen subpoenas for witnesses and evidence have now been requested by Nagin's attorney. But some prosecution subpoenas have already gone out, including Zurik's. 

Lee's reports four years ago first detailed city hall meetings between Nagin and  businessmen Frank Fradella and Greg Meffert.

"Generally speaking what's part of the public record is fair game," said media attorney Mary Ellen Roy. "And in this case there are issues that are part of the public record."

Zurik had to sue to get Nagin's official emails and calendars and found that there was an apparently deliberate effort to hide meetings with Meffert and Fradella who last year pleaded guilty to paying over $100,000 dollars in bribes to Nagin.

Fradella is expected to testify.

Nearly a year and a half ago, Fradella joined a list of businessmen who agreed to cooperate with the feds in the prosecution of Nagin.

"As Kenny Rogers famous song said, "you got to know when to hold them, and when to fold them," said Fradella attorney Randy Smith at the time.

Also on the list is businessman Rodney Williams.

Williams' Three Fold Consulting company allegedly got a million dollar airport contract. Last year, Williams pleaded guilty to paying Nagin $60,000 in bribes for that work.

Businessman Aaron Bennett is also expected to testify. Bennett, along with Fradella and "Businessman A" allegedly took Nagin on a number of trips to New York city, Chicago, and Las Vegas in exchange for public contracts.

"There's going to be six or seven guys who will come in and testify and say they were working with Nagin in felonious acts, and that will be a tough case to overcome," said Raspanti.

All sides are now preparing for one of the biggest trials of the year.

Former deputy mayor Greg Meffert is also expected to testify against Ray Nagin. Three years ago, Meffert pleaded guilty to taking bribes and steering millions of dollars of no-bid city crime camera work to companies belonging to his former business associate Mark St. Pierre.


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