Ex-New Orleans Mayor Nagin sentenced to ten years

Ray Nagin, center
Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to ten years in prison for bribery and money laundering. Nagin, a Democrat who served from 2002 to 2010,  was sentenced Wednesday by US District Judge Helen Berrigan.

The convictions stemmed from years of corruption before and after Hurricane Katrina, and Nagin will avoid what his lawyer called a "virtual life sentence" for the man once seen as a reformer.

Nagin was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin's support for various projects. The bribes came in the form of money, free vacation trips and truckloads of free granite for his family business.

The 58-year-old Democrat had defiantly denied any wrongdoing after his 2013 indictment and during his February trial.

Defense attorney Robert Jenkins on Monday asked permission to file more paperwork in a back-and-forth with prosecutors over how federal sentencing guidelines apply.Jenkins argued the 20-plus years sought by prosecutors amounted to a "virtual life sentence" for Nagin and would deprive his teenage daughter of her father.

Prosecutors said a stiff sentence was just, given the seriousness of the crimes and Nagin's repeated denials.