Reactions to the indictment of former Mayor Ray Nagin range from satisfaction, to skepticism.
“I think if he did wrong he deserves it,” Scott Herbert said.
Reaction from the public — to the federal indictment of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, at least on the surface, appears to be divided along racial lines.
“I’ve always thought he was kind of crooked and I think he deserves what he gets,” John St. Clergy said.
“At this point he’s only charged; he’s only indicted so he has a chance to fight his way through the court,
Dave Sinclair said. “Not knowing, not seeing the evidence against him then obviously we have to withhold our opinion.”
The long-expected indictment for corruption — comes more than two and a half years after Nagin vacated city hall.
Today Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement saying, “Today is a sad day for the City of New Orleans.” “The indictment of Former Mayor Ray Nagin alleges serious violations of the public’s trust.” “Public corruption cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Nagin is accused of accepting cash bribes and gifts from city contractors; and using his power as mayor to leverage contracts for city projects.
“It’s not a victimless crime,” said Metropolitan Crime Commission head Rafael Goyeneche. “This is a crime against everyone in the city of New Orleans; and we’re still paying the price.”
Rafael Goyeneche heads a watchdog group that works to end public corruption.
He says Nagin is accused of siphoning tax dollars that were supposed to be used by government to benefit the public.
Therefore, he says, today is a good day for New Orleans.
“Because anytime someone betrays public trust within New Orleans, Mandeville, St. Bernard or anywhere else and that curtain is pulled back and they’re exposed, I think that serves two purposes. One, it lets the public know that if they report wrong doing something will be done about it.” “And it I think also has a deterrent effect on other public officials that maybe thinking maybe I can get away with it. So this is a good day not just for New Orleans but for Louisiana.”
Goyeneche says he’s followed the on-going investigation but was surprised by the depth, upon reading the federal indictment.