Testimony is under way in the federal corruption trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Prosecutors allege Nagin sold city contracts for his own profit, while the defense says Nagin had no such power.
In opening statements, prosecutor Matthew Coman told jurors that Nagin was a corrupt mayor, “plain and simple.”
Defense attorney Robert Jenkins countered that the witnesses accusing Nagin aren’t credible and there was no wrongdoing.
The first witness was Rodney Williams, formerly part of Three Fold Consultants, LLC, an engineering firm. He said he and his partners were approached by Nagin’s two sons and asked to invest in their family’s granite countertop business — Stone Age.
It was during a time when Three Fold was hoping for a place on a list of approved companies to get Hurricane Katrina recovery projects.
Williams said that after handing over $60,000, Three Fold’s business was awarded almost $3 million in contracts.
Jenkins will begin his cross-examination when testimony continues at 9 a.m.