Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, the businessman-turned-politician who became the worldwide face of the city after Hurricane Katrina, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday.
Nagin, 58, was found guilty Feb. 12 of fraud, bribery and related charges involving crimes that took place before and after Katrina devastated the city in August 2005.
Pre-sentence reports by prosecutors and others were not made public. Nagin, based on sentencing guidelines, had faced a possible range of 12 to 30 years.
A jury convicted Nagin of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes -- money, free vacation trips and truckloads of free granite for his family business -- from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin's support for various hurricane recovery projects.
Nagin's trial was controversial due to alleged prosecutorial bias in the US Attorney's office. Given the way business is done in Southern states as a matter of course, I can't help but wonder how many others should be receiving the same sentence.