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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Guilty of Corruption

<p>Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been found guilty of corruption and taking bribes while he was in office.</p>
Image: Ray Nagin
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin arrives at the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Nagin, who faces charges that he accepted bribes and free trips among other things from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work. Jonathan Bachman / AP file

Ray Nagin was convicted Wednesday of accepting bribes and free trips from contractors in exchange for helping them clinch millions of dollars in city work when he was mayor of New Orleans.

Prosecutors in the federal corruption case alleged Nagin took bribes worth more than $500,000 through various criminal acts, starting before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and continuing through the storm's recovery.

Nagin was indicted in January 2013 on charges he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and accepted loads of free granite for his family business, in exchange for promoting the interests of a New Orleans businessman.

His attorney, Robert Jenkins, said after the verdict that his client plans to appeal.

Nagin, a Democrat who was mayor for two terms from 2002 to 2010, denied he took any bribes. He faced a 21-count indictment, and was found guilty of 20 counts. The counts ranged from conspiracy to filing a false tax return.

Read the indictment

One of the most egregious charges Nagin was found guilty of was accepting $60,000 from an engineering firm, Three Fold Consulting, in exchange for special treatment. The lone charge he was found not guilty of was a separate bribery charge: accepting a $10,000 bribe arranged by a principal in Three Fold Consultants.

Walking out of the courthouse arm-in-arm with his wife after the verdict, Nagin told reporters, "I maintain my innocence."

Nagin, 57, faces more than 20 years in prison, with no provision for parole. His sentencing date has not yet been set. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan ordered him to be under house arrest until the sentencing, WDSU in New Orleans reported.

The jury deliberated for about six and a half hours before delivering the verdict.