Nagin's loved ones hope letters spur sentencing delay

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (FOX8 Photo/FILE)
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (FOX8 Photo/FILE)

Ray Nagin's loved ones hope letters sent to Judge Ginger Berrigan will convince her to delay Wednesday's sentencing, or at least convince her to show leniency.

Nagin's wife, Seletha Nagin, described the ordeal as "un-American" and "so wrong."

"I believe with all my heart and soul that there is more than enough in the suppressed investigation reports on the New Orleans U.S. Attorney's Office that will help you in deciding my husband's fate and our lives together as a family. I am asking that you delay these sentencing proceedings until we are allowed to see all the reports that have thus far only been summarized but clearly show a pattern of prosecutorial misconduct."

"I appeal to your sense of fairness as a wife, mother and grandmother. I can't bear the thought of being separated from my husband."

Seletha spoke of how they met when they were both college age. She states their families lived across the street from one another and he is the man of her dreams.

"My husband has never been involved in any criminal activities and the only thing he could be considered guilty of is not better knowing the character of a few people who got close to his family."

"There are many who know Ray is not guilty of the bogus charges against him. It is only through the grace of God that we are able to deal with the devilish nightmare that started when the U.S. Attorney's Office started investigating my husband in 2006, after he stood up for everyone's right to return after Hurricane Katrina and won re-election against all odds."

"I strongly urge you once again to dig deeper into what it being reported about the illicit activities within the New Orleans U.S. Attorney's Office."

Seletha added the family has gone on public assistance and had to file for bankruptcy as a result of his legal problems. She questions the fairness of the trial, since only three jurors were from Orleans Parish and there was only one African American juror.

A separate letter from Nagin's children has a sharper tone.

"The local federal agents of New Orleans have large resources and can indict anything. In this case, it was an innocent man, my father…Ray Nagin. In this case, they used disgusting, foul and soulless claims. In this case, deals were made by the federal government…as they pimped criminally convicted and questionable witnesses to lie on the stand for future rewards, " said Jeremy Nagin.

"It seems as if the prosecutors have turned this into a game. Turned my dad into a token. Turned the value of life into a prize," added Tianna Nagin.

Federal guidelines recommend a sentence of no less than 20-years in prison following his conviction on 20 counts of conspiracy, bribery and fraud.

Just last week, prosecutors said the former New Orleans mayor showed no remorse and that 20 years would be fitting for someone who collected more than half a million dollars in bribes.

But, Nagin's attorney calls that a virtual life sentence for the 58-year-old.

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