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Former Nagin Associate Pleads Guilty To Paying Bribes

captureFrank Fradella smiled and said, “Good morning,” on his way into federal court Wednesday afternoon. But that was all he said outside.

Inside court, Fradella — a former associate of Ray Nagin — pleaded guilty to bribery. Prosecutors say he paid money to a public official in the city of New Orleans in exchange for post-Katrina business with his company that provided disaster recovery work.

Federal prosecutors are not identifying the person who received the money from Fradella. In court documents, the person is only identified as Public Official A.

The day before the guilty plea, Fradella’s attorney responded to questions whether the unnamed official was Ray Nagin.

“…if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck, right?” Smith said.

Documents connected to the guilty plea show the public official worked during the same years as Nagin’s terms in office. They also say the public official received $10,000 a month — for a year — after leaving city hall.

But perhaps the most interesting information in the case involves granite.

After Hurricane Katrina, the Nagin family owned a granite company. In 2008, Nagin claimed he owned 20% of the family business and said, “I’m pretty much the financier for the company.”

Outside of court Wednesday morning, following the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said Fradella bribe of Public Official A, “Included deliveries of granite.”

Nagin has not been accused or charges of any wrongdoing. Attempts to reach him or attorneys that could represent him have been unsuccessful.

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