Jurors in the federal corruption trial of former Mayor Ray Nagin are now deliberating. Closing arguments showed the defendant in two very different roles.
Prosecutors say evidence shows “a mayor on the take”. They recapped deals they say show the mayor squeezing contractors for bribes, and they said it was only when those contractors needed the mayor’s signature on deals in the works.
Nagin’s attorney Robert Jenkins says the witnesses accusing the former mayor are lying in hopes of getting lenient sentences for prior guilty pleas. Prosecutors reviewed a money trail of checks that ended up in Nagin accounts. Jenkins said those same money trails show Nagin didn’t try to hide the deals. He said a bribe would be better paid in cash.
US District Judge Ginger Berrigan instructed the panel on the law. Jurors can decide the credibility of a witness, and she said there’s no legal requirement for the government to indict all people involved in a conspiracy.
Twelve jurors must decide 21 counts. Four alternates are standing by in case they’re needed.