Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is probably not shouting “Where are the buses?” now. He may soon ride one to the penitentiary.
The federal indictment accuses Nagin of accepting more than $160,000 in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman who secured millions of dollars in city contract work after the 2005 hurricane. The businessman, Frank Fradella, pleaded guilty in June to bribery conspiracy and securities-fraud charges and has been cooperating with federal authorities.
Nagin, 56, also is charged with accepting at least $60,000 in payoffs from another businessman, Rodney Williams, for his help in securing city contracts for architectural, engineering and management services work. Williams, who was president of Three Fold Consultants LLC, pleaded guilty Dec. 5 to a conspiracy charge.
The indictment also accuses Nagin of getting free private jet and limousine services to New York from an unidentified businessman. Nagin is accused of agreeing to wave tax penalties that the businessman owed to the city on a delinquent tax bill in 2006.
Nagin helped Louisiana’s then governor, the incompetent Kathleen Blanco, blame New Orleans’ Katrina disaster on President George W. Bush and FEMA. Some conservatives were foolish enough to help them sell that line. It destroyed the Bush presidency and wrecked the GOP brand enough to help the Democrats take Congress in 2006. Behind all the Democrats’ noise, though, was corruption. The mayor presided over a ghost police force and did not even have the ability to contact the city’s school bus drivers. Their whole evacuation plan was a sham.
A corrupt mayor, a feckless governor, enabled by a media that failed to report the truth. Nagin’s indictment serves justice but it won’t cause anyone in the media to change their mind or their ways.
More: Today Rush Limbaugh noted that the mainstream media reports on Democrats the same way sports journalists report on major athletes — with awe and worship. Behold, their lamb.