Home Depot, IRS Witnesses Testify Against Former Mayor Nagin

Feb 5, 2014

Federal prosecutors are continuing to call witnesses of financial deals in the corruption trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Several were executives of the Home Depot that Nagin brokered for Central City.

Several Home Depot executives told jurors about deals involving Nagin and his own granite company, Stone Age. That family business ended up partnering with the national chain. Unlike previous witnesses, the business representatives who testified Tuesday were not charged with crimes.

Nagin’s defense attorney, Robert Jenkins, has attacked previous witnesses now awaiting sentencing of trying to get more lenient sentences in exchange for testimony against Nagin.

Taking up much of the afternoon’s session was an Internal Revenue Service investigator. Treasury Department Special Agent Timothy Moore testified Nagin skimmed the bribes he arranged for himself, which are reportable income, from his declared income. Moore says Nagin had nearly $350,000 in undeclared income from 2005 to 2008. The agent detailed several restaurant tabs and travel billed to the city on days when no city business was scheduled.

Prosecutors are now set to call investigative reporter Lee Zurik to the stand. Zurik investigated the Nagin administration’s troubled house-gutting program and clashed with the mayor over access to records of his official duties.