“If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably going to be a duck, right?” asked defense attorney Randy Smith who is representing former Ray Nagin associate and businessman Frank Fradella.
Fradella is the target of a federal investigation that claims he participated in a bribery conspiracy after Hurricane Katrina. The case also lists an “Official A” as a conspirator.
Fradella is a former associate of Ray Nagin. Fradella’s company specialized in things like reconstruction projects following natural disasters. Fradella is accused of participating in the bribery scheme in exchange for business with the city, post-Katrina and during Nagin’s tenure as mayor.
“Mr. Fradella, unless he changes his mind over night, is intending to plead guilty to these two counts,” Smith said Tuesday afternoon with Fradella by his side following a hearing before a federal magistrate.
According to Smith, federal prosecutors are not naming who “Official A” is. But Smith says he served the city from May 2002 to May 2010, the year’s that Nagin was mayor.
“It doesn’t name him. It’s not my right to name him. The government, for whatever reason, is calling it Public Official A.” said Smith who added that Fradella has already cut his deal with prosecutors and knows that his maximum sentence could be. But Smith did not go into detail about the penalty.
He was also vague about how much money changed hands.
“Well, the bill of information says in excess of $5,000. But it was more than that.”
Fradella is expected in court Wednesday morning at 10:00 to enter his plea.
We were unable to reach Nagin or his attorney for comment.