Nagin’s Defense Rests
Soon we should know if former Mayor Ray Nagin will be convicted on federal corruption charges.
Nagin’s testimony Friday was a five hour fight, fending-off prosecutors who say his office was for sale.
Nagin returns to the stand having a full year to prepare for an onslaught of federal interrogation, probing deeper into 21 counts of bribery and money laundering allegations.
On charges he influenced city contracts for bribes, Nagin says never happened.
He told jurors that idea to delegate authority to his right hand man Greg Meffert came by recommendation of the city attorney, in order to speed up the Katrina rebuilding process.
Regarding ties between Home Depot, Rodney Williams and the family granite countertop business, Nagin testifies the assumed bribe money was instead investments or in one case, a loan from a very close friend.
And who does Nagin say financed private jet vacations?
He doesn’t know.
The former mayor says after Katrina he flew hundreds of times, and with Louis Armstrong shut down, Nagin says people often reached out to help him get places.
On observation, jurors appear entertained by Nagins public speaking skills and charisma, which could be the determining factor that lets him walk .
The defense rests.
Closing arguments begin Monday.