A federal jury has convicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office.
The jury on Wednesday convicted Nagin of 20 of 21 counts against him.
As he left the courthouse in the company of his wife, Seletha and his attorney, Robert Jenkins, Nagin told reporters that he did not believe the verdicts were "fair" and that he would appeal.
There was no public comment from the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite.
Nagin was indicted in January 2013 on charges he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman.
He also was charged with accepting thousands of dollars in payoffs from another businessman for his help in securing city contracts.
The only count on which he was acquitted involved an alleged $10,000 bribe that the government said Nagin received through his sons as a payoff.
Before the verdicts were read, Nagin said outside the courtroom that he's "been at peace with this for a long time. I'm good."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu offered his reaction in a news release issued by his office.
"This is a very sad day for the people of the city of New Orleans. The conviction of former Mayor Nagin is another clear indication that the people of this city will not tolerate public corruption or abuse of power. Four years ago, the people of this city turned the page on that sad chapter for New Orleans and on the old way of doing business. We are moving forward and are restoring the public's trust in government. Our city's best days are ahead of us," Landrieu said.
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