Sunday, February 12, 2012

American Hero (I Jest) New Orleans Mayor Nagin Subject Of Grand Jury Investigation

Published reports said former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is the target of a grand jury investigation.

Officials said the investigation questions Nagin's involvement in private business dealings with several city contractors who have now either been convicted or pleaded guilty in federal court to charges such as bribery and conspiracy.

The report adds that Greg Meffert, a former technology official and deputy mayor under Nagin, pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges he took bribes and kickbacks in exchange for steering city contracts to former city vendor Mark St. Pierre. Anthony Jones, who served as the city's chief technology officer during Nagin's administration, also pleaded guilty to taking payoffs.

Meffert cooperated with the government in its case against St. Pierre, who was convicted in May 2011 of charges that include conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

Meffert was scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 5. But at the request of prosecutors, the hearing was postponed by nearly five months. They filed a document related to Meffert's case under seal, saying that disclosing it would "interfere with a legitimate governmental interest."

According to KLTV, federal authorities also are investigating how a firm founded by Nagin and his two sons landed a contract to install granite countertops for local Home Depot stores and whether the Nagin family company received free equipment from city vendors, the people said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they could not publicly comment on an ongoing investigation.

A Justice Department spokeswoman in Washington had no comment. The U.S. attorney in New Orleans, Jim Letten, did not return a call requesting comment. A spokeswoman for FBI Special Agent in Charge David Welker declined to comment on whether an investigation is underway.

Here’s the money quote from Jim Treacher at DC Trawler, “Hey, you run a chocolate city long enough and you’re bound to get sticky fingers.”

Linked at POH Diaries.  Thanks TWB.


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