Ray Nagin targeted in federal grand jury probe. #rsrh

From the Times-Picayune:

A federal grand jury is investigating whether city vendors gave former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin gratuities ranging from plane tickets to materials and equipment for his family’s granite-countertop business and also helped the firm land an exclusive installation deal with a retailing giant while Nagin was in office, according to several sources close to the probe. The federal probe is zeroing in on Nagin along three parallel tracks: luxury travel and home maintenance provided by city technology vendors; a granite countertop installation contract that Nagin’s family company got from The Home Depot; and the possibility that at least two businesses with City Hall dealings arranged for the delivery of free equipment or materials to the Nagin family’s now-defunct firm.

The federal probe apparently is zeroing in on former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin along three parallel tracks.

Nagin’s lawyer, Harry Rosenberg, said he had “no comment on those notions.” U.S. Attorney Jim Letten declined to comment.

Part of the case the government is building is well-established in the public record. Court documents and sworn testimony established long ago that Nagin and his family went to Hawaii in December 2004 on the nickel of city technology vendor Mark St. Pierre, who is now serving a 17-year prison sentence for bribing Nagin’s chief technology officer, Greg Meffert.
Likewise, it’s long been known that St. Pierre lined up a private jet and then paid for first-class airfare so the Nagins could vacation in Jamaica after Hurricane Katrina, and also provided a private yacht and plane tickets to Chicago for Nagin re-election campaign parties. And newspaper stories and court testimony showed that St. Pierre spent more than $1,000 on landscaping services at Nagin’s home in the months after Katrina.

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