jueves, 13 de febrero de 2014

Nagin Guilty of 20 Counts of Bribery and Fraud

Cristina Martínez Rangel
Sociedad y Política de Estados Unidos
February 13th, 2014

This Wednesday, former corporate executive and New Orleans ex-mayor, C. Ray Nagin, was convicted by the federal court on 20 counts of barberry and fraud—among these are wire fraud and false tax returns.  During his trial, over two dozen federal prosecutors and government officials witnessed against Mr. Nagin and his various scams and schemes, such as getting free services and utilities from businessman in exchange of “something in return”. All these payoffs summed up to “a total of illicit proceeds that the government put at a half a million dollars”.  

The local news did a great job spreading relevant information about Nagin whereabouts while he was still in office. During this time, he “became an emblem of government dysfunction in the months and years after Hurricane Katrina” especially after it was known that he enjoyed a luxurious life-style at the expense of the city credit card. It was also reported that he traveled in a private jet after a fellow businessman’s tax bills “miraculously sloped down”. All of this took place while the city was hurt by the hurricane. His corruption became more evident through trials and guilty pleas when others confess their being involved the frauds. Thus, the fact that ex-mayor Nagin is “the first New Orleans mayor to be changed, tried and convicted of corruption” wasn’t too shocking for some residents.

According to former federal prosecutor and law professor at Tulane University, Tania Tetlow, “Mr. Nagin could face 20 years in prison by federal sentencing guidelines”. His sentence will take place on June the 11th, Ray Nagin’s birthday.


I not only agree with the conviction of C. Ray Nagin before the federal court but I applause the sense of justice and fairness that is impregnated in the US constitution and judicial department. In Nagin’s case, the statement “no one is above the law” is clearly put into action. He is treated as an equal and fellow citizen under the law, with no exception whatsoever but still keeping all of his lawful rights. When it comes to the impartation of justice, there is an evident contrast between the US and Mexico. Sadly, when politicians and influential businessman commit fraud or crime, the Mexican government doesn't always manage to follow through the trial or it acts indifferent towards it. However, the way the federal court is dealing with Nagin's frauds does not only give a sense of justice to the US citizens but also a feeling of security, something that at the time being, Mexico is totally lacking.

In conclusion, Mr. Nagin is confined to his residence in Dallas for now, waiting for the court’s trial on July, where, according to his lawyer Robert Jenkins, Mr. Nagin intended to appeal. Still, after the verdict given this week, Kenneth Allen Polite Jr., the attorney for Louisiana’s Eastern District, resumed and reinforced their responsibility as members of the justice department with the following statement: “Our public servants pledge to provide honest services to the people of Southeast Louisiana… we are committed to bringing any politician who violates that obligation to justice.”  

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