NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Declaring that corruption flourished during Ray Nagin’s two terms as mayor of New Orleans, a federal prosecutor began outlining a far-reaching, multifaceted scheme Thursday in which Nagin allegedly received money, free vacation travel and free granite for his family business— bribes worth more than $500,000 — for helping contractors receive millions of dollars’ worth of city work.
“Corruption was alive and well in this building,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Coman told jurors Thursday afternoon as a picture of New Orleans City Hall flashed on a screen behind him.
Defense lawyer Robert Jenkins countered that the work in question was awarded by public bid or through contracts in which committees played a role in selection. He promised email evidence to prove Nagin’s innocence. And he said the federal case is built on the testimony of witnesses who are not credible because of their own criminal activity and…
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