Former Mayor Nagin's Case Reflects City's Move Toward Reform

Jul 10, 2014

Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin entering federal court before his sentencing.
Credit Clint Durrett /

New Orleans has turned a major corner with the sentencing of former Mayor Ray Nagin. One political observer says the story speaks to the city’s battle against corruption.

University of New Orleans political science professor Ed Chervenak says the 10-year sentence Nagin is set to begin serving in September reflects the reform movement taking hold.

“It’s just a complete downfall by this individual who started out with lots of promise, was going to change the way things were done at City Hall, ended up engaged in the very practices that he ran against initially," says Chervenak. "And so what we’re looking at is an epic fall from grace here. And it’s a historic moment. This is a big deal.” 

If federal prison authorities go along with the recommendation of U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan, Nagin will do the time at a minimum-security federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana.