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Ray Nagin

Ray Nagin

Overview
Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr. is a former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, United States. Nagin gained international note in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, which devastated the New Orleans area.

Nagin was first elected on March 2, 2002, to succeed his fellow Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Marc Morial
Marc Morial
Marc Haydel Morial is an American political and civic leader and the current president of the National Urban League. Morial served as mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana from 1994 to 2002. He is married to Michelle Miller, who has won awards as a CBS News Correspondent.- Early life and educations...

. He was re-elected in 2006 but was ineligible to seek a third term in 2010 due to term limits and stepped down from office on May 3, 2010.

Nagin was born on June 11, 1956, in New Orleans' Charity Hospital, to a low-income family.
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

They thinking small, man, and this is a major, major deal.

Interview with New Orleans radio station WWL, September 1, 2005

Get off your asses and let's do something.

Interview with New Orleans radio station WWL, September 1, 2005

You know, I'm sure I could have done a lot of things much better, but I will tell you this, Tim: I was there.

Transcript for September 11, Ray Nagin, Arlen Specter, John Barry & Ivor van Heerden

I think I did everything possible known to any mayor in the country as it relates to saving lives.

Transcript for September 11, Ray Nagin, Arlen Specter, John Barry & Ivor van Heerden
Encyclopedia
Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr. is a former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, United States. Nagin gained international note in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, which devastated the New Orleans area.

Nagin was first elected on March 2, 2002, to succeed his fellow Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Marc Morial
Marc Morial
Marc Haydel Morial is an American political and civic leader and the current president of the National Urban League. Morial served as mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana from 1994 to 2002. He is married to Michelle Miller, who has won awards as a CBS News Correspondent.- Early life and educations...

. He was re-elected in 2006 but was ineligible to seek a third term in 2010 due to term limits and stepped down from office on May 3, 2010.

Early life and career


Nagin was born on June 11, 1956, in New Orleans' Charity Hospital, to a low-income family. His childhood was typical of that of the urban poor within the city, and his father held three jobs: a janitor at New Orleans City Hall by night, a fabric cutter at a clothing factory by day, and a mechanic at a dairy, to earn sufficient pay to support his family, as well as provide for Nagin's education. His mother was employed at a lunch counter in a Kmart
Kmart
Kmart, sometimes styled as "K-Mart," is a chain of discount department stores. The chain acquired Sears in 2005, forming a new corporation under the name Sears Holdings Corporation. The company was founded in 1962 and is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and...

 store. The family lived on Allen Street in the 7th Ward
7th Ward of New Orleans
The 7th Ward is a section of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is geographically the second largest of the 17 Wards of New Orleans, after the 9th Ward.-Boundaries and geography:...

, followed by a stay in the Treme
Treme
Tremé is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are Esplanade Avenue to the north, North Rampart Street to the east, St. Louis Street to the south and North Broad Street to the west...

, and then moved to the Cutoff section of Algiers when Nagin was a young teenager. Nagin attended O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans where he played basketball and baseball. He enrolled at Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund...

 on a baseball scholarship, and graduated with a degree in accountancy
Accountancy
Accountancy is the process of communicating financial information about a business entity to users such as shareholders and managers. The communication is generally in the form of financial statements that show in money terms the economic resources under the control of management; the art lies in...

 in 1978. He was the third college graduate from his family .

After graduating from college he went to work in the purchasing department at General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

. He moved to Los Angeles, and then to Dallas in 1981 to take a job with Associates Corp. In 1982, Nagin married Seletha Smith, whom he had met in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

. Together, they have three children: Jeremy, Jarin, and Tianna. In 1985, Nagin returned to New Orleans, becoming the controller of Cox New Orleans, the city's cable television franchise, run by the cable organization Cox
Cox Enterprises
Cox Enterprises is the successor to the publishing company founded in Dayton, Ohio, United States, by James Middleton Cox, who began with the Dayton Daily News. He was the Democratic candidate for the President of the United States in the election of 1920...

. The franchise had been affected by customer complaints, low profits, and very little growth, and was one of the poorest-performing components of Cox. Nagin implemented an upgrade of the system to 750 MHz, spent $500 million on developing its fiber-optic cable, and introduced new services, including digital cable television and telephony. In 1989, he was appointed to command Cox New Orleans as vice-president and general manager, and between 1985 and 2002, 800 jobs were introduced into the business. By the end of his tenure, 85% of customers reported being happy with the service, compared to less than half in 1989. Cox New Orleans became one of Cox's best-performing units.

In 1993, Nagin enrolled in the executive MBA program at Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

, a course designed for managers. Mark Miester, Editor of Freeman Magazine for the A. B. Freeman School of Business, argues that in his role as vice-president and general manager, Nagin gained an introduction to politics, having to lead a business whilst balancing customer and regulator concerns. Nagin also had to lobby politicians and weigh in their viewpoints regarding Cox New Orleans, as it was regulated by the local government which was also behind renewing the business's contract. In 1995, Nagin gained a Young Leadership Council Diversity and Role Model Award, and later sat on the boards of the United Way and Covenant House
Covenant House
Covenant House is the largest privately funded agency in the Americas providing shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless, and runaway youth. In addition to basic needs, Covenant House provides a continuum of care to homeless youth aged 16–21 designed to...

; he also became the president of 100 Black Men, a national organization of African-American businessmen. His public profile was higher than that of the average business executive because he hosted a twice-weekly television call-in show for customers. In 1998 he became one of a dozen investors behind the minor-league hockey team the New Orleans Brass
New Orleans Brass
The New Orleans Brass was a hockey team in the ECHL from 1997-2002. The team was at one time affiliated with the San Jose Sharks. Home games were played first at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium and then at the New Orleans Arena....

, becoming the investors' spokesman, and securing a hockey franchise for New Orleans. The initial popularity of the team allowed the group to secure New Orleans Arena
New Orleans Arena
New Orleans Arena is an indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is located in the city's Central Business District, adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome....

 as a venue. That year, the local alternative newspaper Gambit Weekly
Gambit Weekly
Gambit is a New Orleans, Louisiana-based free alternative weekly newspaper that was established in 1981 as Gambit Weekly. Gambit features reporting about local politics, news, food and drink, arts, music, film, events, environmental issues and other topics, as well as listings...

named Nagin as its New Orleanian of the Year.

2002 mayoral election



Nagin entered the race for mayor after other candidates better known on the local political scene had announced their candidacy. Nagin's candidacy was at first considered a long shot, and he was not backed by any of the city's established political organizations. Many voters, nonetheless, favored Nagin's expressions of disgust with traditional Louisiana politics, including promises to fight political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 and run the city in a more businesslike manner. Shortly before the primary mayoral election, Gambit Weekly
Gambit Weekly
Gambit is a New Orleans, Louisiana-based free alternative weekly newspaper that was established in 1981 as Gambit Weekly. Gambit features reporting about local politics, news, food and drink, arts, music, film, events, environmental issues and other topics, as well as listings...

 endorsed Nagin as a reformer, giving him crucial momentum that would carry through the primary and subsequent runoff.

Then in the first round of the crowded mayoral election in February 2002, Nagin received first place with 29 percent of the vote, against opponents such as Police Chief Richard Pennington
Richard Pennington
Richard Pennington served as police chief of Atlanta, Georgia from 2002 to 2009. From 1994 to 2002 he served as police chief of New Orleans, Louisiana....

, State Senator Paulette Irons
Paulette Irons
Paulette Riley Irons is New Orleans city court judge for Division M. In November 1994 she became the second female member of the Louisiana Senate. She served in the chamber until the end of the statutory limit of 12 years, ending in 2006. Irons represented Louisiana Senate District 4 in New Orleans...

, City Councilman Troy Carter
Troy Carter (politician)
Troy Anthony "C" Carter is a former member of the New Orleans City Council.In 1994 he was elected to represent District C on the Council, becoming the first African-American to represent that area of the Council since Reconstruction. He served until 2002, when he unsuccessfully sought the office...

 and others. In the runoff with Pennington on Saturday, March 2, 2002, Nagin won with 59 percent of the votes, Nagin received 76,639 votes and his opponent, Richard Pennington
Richard Pennington
Richard Pennington served as police chief of Atlanta, Georgia from 2002 to 2009. From 1994 to 2002 he served as police chief of New Orleans, Louisiana....

, received 53,836 votes.

Nagin's first term


Shortly after taking office, Nagin launched an anti-corruption campaign within city government, including crackdowns on the city's Taxicab Bureau and Utilities Department. Media scenes of corrupt officials being led out of City Hall in handcuffs were received with surprised enthusiasm by much of the public. When an investigation into corruption among city vehicle inspection (locally known as "brake tag" inspection) certification workers suggested that corruption was systemic, Nagin fired the entire department workforce. He declared a month-long hiatus on inspections and a moratorium on ticketing for expired tags while an entirely new force of employees were hired and trained for the city's brake tag inspection stations. Nagin's actions were viewed with surprise, given the state's history of preferential political treatment for people with social or family connections. Indeed, when Nagin was asked what should be done about his cousin, who was implicated in the taxi cab bureau scandals, Nagin said "if he's guilty, arrest him." Nagin's cousin was later arrested.

Nagin often clashed with the New Orleans City Council, and as a result failed to get council support for proposed legislation he favored. He was criticized for often publicly announcing new programs or proposed policies without having them vetted by other city leaders.

As Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan was a large, long-lived, Cape Verde-type hurricane that caused widespread damage in the Caribbean and United States. The cyclone was the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane and the fourth major hurricane of the active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season...

 threatened the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 in September 2004, Nagin urged New Orleanians to be ready for the storm, preferably to evacuate with some "Benjamins" ($100 bills) handy, and urged any who planned to stay not only to stock up on food and water but also to make sure they had "an axe in the attic," a reference to the many people trapped in their attics by rising floodwaters when Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy was a Category 4 hurricane of the 1965 Atlantic hurricane season which caused enormous damage in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana. Betsy made its most intense landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, causing significant flooding of the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into...

 hit the city in 1965. Nagin issued a call for a voluntary evacuation of the city at 6 p.m. on September 13. Some 600,000 New Orleanians left. Thousands were stuck in highway traffic for 12 or even 24 hours. The hurricane missed the city.

Nagin controversially endorsed conservative Republican Bobby Jindal
Bobby Jindal
Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is the 55th and current Governor of Louisiana and formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives. He is a member of the Republican Party....

 over conservative Democratic Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
The Office of Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana is the second highest state office in Louisiana. The current Lieutenant Governor is Jay Dardenne, a Republican...

 Kathleen Blanco
Kathleen Blanco
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco was the 54th Governor of Louisiana, having served from January 2004 until January 2008. She was the first woman to be elected to the office of governor of Louisiana....

 in the 2003 runoff for governor.

Hurricane Katrina




On Friday, August 26, 2005 Nagin advised New Orleanians to keep a close eye on the storm and prepare for evacuation. He made various statements encouraging people to leave, without officially calling for an evacuation throughout Saturday the 27th before issuing a call for voluntary evacuation that evening. He was hesitant to order a mandatory evacuation because of concerns about the city's liability for closing hotels and other businesses. Nagin continued to announce that the city attorney was reviewing the information regarding this issue and once he had reviewed the city attorney's opinion he would make a decision whether to give the order to evacuate the city. With fewer than 24 hours left before the storm's landfall, Nagin declared a mandatory evacuation, the first in the city's history, and the first for a U.S. city of this size since the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

After the hurricane hit, he bluntly criticized the delays in aid to the city, and expressed anger with what he said was slow federal and state response.

Some newspaper editorial writers criticized Nagin for not handling evacuation procedures properly and, in particular, for allowing hundreds of New Orleans city buses — which they claimed might have been used for evacuating poor or elderly people — to sit idle in parking lots that were part of the first sections of the city flooded.

"Chocolate City"



At a town hall meeting in October 2005, Nagin said: "I can see in your eyes, you want to know, 'How do I take advantage of this incredible opportunity? How do I make sure New Orleans is not overrun with Mexican workers,'" referring to the influx of Mexican laborers coming to New Orleans to help rebuild the city. Hispanic groups, including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, criticized Nagin's statement as prejudiced, although those attending the town hall meeting reportedly applauded — many believed the jobs should instead go to local workers displaced by the hurricane.

Elections for Mayor and City Council members had been scheduled for February 2006, but these were postponed due to the devastation after Katrina and the many New Orleanians still living out of the city.

In an interview with Public Radio International
Public Radio International
Public Radio International is a Minneapolis-based American public radio organization, with locations in Boston, New York, London and Beijing. PRI's tagline is "Hear a different voice." PRI is a major public media content creator and also distributes programs from many sources...

's Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley is a talk show host, author, liberal political commentator, entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist. Smiley was born in Gulfport, Mississippi and grew up in Kokomo, Indiana. After attending Indiana University, he worked during the late 1980s as an aide to Tom Bradley, the mayor of...

 originally broadcast on January 13, 2006, Nagin said that he has never been a Republican and is a "life-long Democrat." He used the phrase "chocolate city" in reference to New Orleans' future demographics, which he was to use in a speech a few days afterwards. The idea reportedly originated with "Chocolate City
Chocolate City (song)
"Chocolate City" is a song by the funk band Parliament, the lead track of their 1975 album of the same name. It was also released as a two-part single, the first from the album....

" by the popular 1970s funk group Parliament
Parliament (band)
Parliament was a funk band most prominent during the 1970s. It and its sister act Funkadelic, both led by George Clinton, began the funk music culture of that decade.-History:...

.

A book by historian Douglas Brinkley
Douglas Brinkley
Douglas Brinkley is an American author, professor of history at Rice University and a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy. Brinkley is the history commentator for CBS News and a contributing editor to the magazine Vanity Fair...

 titled The Great Deluge
The Great Deluge
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a 2006 book by Professor Douglas Brinkley of Tulane University about the effect of Hurricane Katrina which devastated the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005. It covers the personal stories of heroism...

: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast
assails Nagin for his response to Hurricane Katrina. The book relies on people closely involved in the disaster relief effort to provide insight into Nagin's behavior the days and weeks following the catastrophic event. For example, Kathleen Blanco is quoted describing Nagin as "a total void" and "falling apart". For his part, Nagin has questioned the timing of the book's release, coming less than 2 weeks prior to the Mayor's runoff election, and has called the book "a political hit."

At a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration speech in New Orleans on January 16, 2006, Nagin's statements of knowing the will of God was objected to by some. Nagin repeated the "Chocolate City" metaphor and proclaimed that New Orleans will be "chocolate again." This was seized upon and parodied by some commentators, cartoons, and merchandising. Various designs of T-shirts with satirical depictions of Nagin as Willy Wonka
Willy Wonka
This article is about the fictional character. For the candy company, see, The Willy Wonka Candy Company.Willy Wonka is a fictional character in the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the film adaptations that followed. The book and the 1971 film adaption both vividly...

 were sold in the city and on the Internet.

Nagin also stated that New Orleans "will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be." As most New Orleanians knew the city had been majority African American for decades before Katrina, certain people found the implication of Nagin claiming to know God's will more troubling than the suggested return of pre-Katrina demographics. He asserted that God "sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country", suggesting God's disapproval of US invasion of Iraq under false pretenses.

The speech generated an intense reaction, most of it negative. A commentator from the Times-Picayune suggested that Nagin had just ruined his own chances at re-election. Nagin later apologized for his remarks. The Mayor apologized for the suggestion that people Uptown (a mixed neighborhood) were racist
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

, noting the importance of that section of town in the city's recovery, and asked for forgiveness. He particularly stated regret for the statements about God. Nagin concluded he needed "to be more aware and sensitive of what I'm saying."

2006 mayoral election



In the election of April 22, Nagin was the front runner with 38% of the vote. Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu
Mitch Landrieu
Mitchell Joseph "Mitch" Landrieu is the Mayor of New Orleans, former Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, and a member of the Landrieu family. Landrieu is a member of the Democratic Party and a Roman Catholic. He is the son of former New Orleans mayor and Secretary of the United States Department of...

 came in second with 29%. Nagin and Landrieu faced each other in a run off election on May 20, 2006. Final results showed that Nagin defeated Landrieu 52% to 48% (59,000/55,000 votes).

2006


Nagin's second term began on June 1, 2006. He campaigned on a promise to develop a "100 day plan" to rebuild New Orleans, but as of the end of the 100 days no concrete plan had been released. After the end of the 100 days, some commentators criticized Nagin for what they perceived as a lack of explanation of the details of this plan and a lack of activity in putting this plan forward. Nagin administration spokesperson Rob Couhig
Rob Couhig
Robert Emmet Couhig, Jr., known as Rob Couhig , is an attorney, businessman, entrepreneur, Republican political activist, and a former radio talk show host from New Orleans, Louisiana. His last political foray was into the 2010 New Orleans mayoral election.A former partner of the Adams and Reese...

 backed away from the promise, stating that it was not meant as a "time period," but as a short-range campaign to improve quality-of-life issues. In 2006, Nagin was also criticized for devoting time to an extensive national speaking tour while being rarely seen in New Orleans. Nagin's administration countered this criticism by stating that the speaking tour is necessary in order to correct an inaccurate perception of the situation in New Orleans. There was disquiet following his interview with Byron Pitts
Byron Pitts
Byron Pitts is an American journalist and author, who is currently a chief national correspondent for The CBS Evening News and a contributor to the newsmagazine 60 Minutes. He has covered the September 11, 2001 attacks and Iraq....

 on CBS's 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
60 Minutes is an American television news magazine, which has run on CBS since 1968. The program was created by producer Don Hewitt who set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation....

(aired August 27, 2006), in which Nagin made a reference to New York City's World Trade Center site
World Trade Center site
The World Trade Center site , also known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on in Lower Manhattan in New York City...

, saying "That’s all right. You guys in New York can’t get a hole in the ground fixed and it’s five years later. So let’s be fair."

2007


Since January 2007, public perception of a drastic increase in the city’s violent crime rate has led to many criticisms of Nagin’s leadership. A year after his re-election, Nagin continued to be criticized for a perceived lack of vision and decisiveness, and an inability to communicate his plans and policies. Nagin reignited complaints about his leadership when he said news of two killings, while sad, "keeps the New Orleans brand out there."

In February Mayor Nagin was found in contempt for failing to abide by court orders to provide information on hundreds of seized firearms in city custody, and begin returning those guns to their rightful owners.

2008


During 2008 Nagin continued to preside over a city recovering from Hurricane Katrina. His "recovery czar" was Dr Ed Blakely
Ed Blakely
Edward James Blakely is known primarily for having been Executive Director of Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans. He is currently Honorary Professor in Urban Policy at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney....

. Late in the year Nagin's endorsement of U.S. representative William J. Jefferson
William J. Jefferson
William Jennings "Bill" Jefferson is a former American politician, and a published author from the U.S. state of Louisiana. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for nine terms from 1991 to 2009 as a member of the Democratic Party. He represented , which includes much of the...

 failed to rescue the indicted and embattled Democrat who had represented Louisiana's 2nd congressional district
Louisiana's 2nd congressional district
Louisiana's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The district contains nearly all of the city of New Orleans , and some of its suburbs, including the West Bank portion of Jefferson Parish and South South Kenner.The district is currently represented...

 since 1991; in a stunning upset, Jefferson was defeated by Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao
Joseph Cao
Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2009 until 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party. In April 2011, he announced he will be a candidate for Attorney General of Louisiana in 2011, however in September 2011 he pulled out of the race.He was the first...

. Nagin and Cao were, however, to form a working relationship.

Following the illegal seizure of firearms in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, Nagin settled a lawsuit and had a permanent injunction issued prohibiting Nagin or any New Orleans employee from confiscating any lawfully possessed firearm and ordering the return of hundreds of illegally confiscated firearms. (They had been confiscated at Nagin's order.).

2009


In October 2009, Nagin traveled to Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 as part of a delegation for a six-day trip to study the island's hurricane disaster-response system. The mayor along with 15 city and state officials, including police, fire and port agencies, met with Cuban civil defense authorities and saw presentations on how the island's military and CDR's
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution , or CDR, is a network of neighborhood committees across Cuba. The organizations, described as the "eyes and ears of the Revolution", exist to promote social welfare and report on "counter-revolutionary" activity...

 mobilize during disasters. Nagin also met with the head of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce and spoke out against the 47-year-old trade embargo while lobbying for U.S. and Cuban authorities to allow special charter flights between New Orleans and Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

.

2010


Prior to leaving office, Nagin was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to head the United States delegation to a state and local governments conference on assistance to post-earthquake Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 held in Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

.

Corruption, controversy and conflicts


Post-Katrina, Ray Nagin's two sons, Jeremy Nagin, at the time 23 years of age, and Jarin Nagin, at the time 21 years of age, owned Stone Age, LLC, with their father. Stone Age, LLC, received a contract with Home Depot after Ray Nagin had a meeting with Home Depot . Stone Age, LLC, is a granite and marble business founded in early 2005 by Ray Nagin and his two sons. Corporate documents show Seletha Nagin, Nagin's wife, signed as a witness, and the document was notarized by City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields. Stone Age, LLC, is currently "Not In Good Standing for failure to file Annual Report" with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

This would not be the first time Jeremy Nagin faced controversy. Six months after his father took office, Jeremy Nagin, who was 18 years of age at the time, was led out of a New York Bloomingdale's
Bloomingdale's
Bloomingdale's is an American department store owned by Macy's, Inc. .Bloomingdale's started in 1861 when brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale started selling hoop-skirts in their Ladies Notions' Shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side...

 in handcuffs for attempting to steal $1,300 worth of goods from Bloomingdale's
Bloomingdale's
Bloomingdale's is an American department store owned by Macy's, Inc. .Bloomingdale's started in 1861 when brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale started selling hoop-skirts in their Ladies Notions' Shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side...

 with a counterfeit
Counterfeit
To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

 credit card
Credit card
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services...

. Jeremy Nagin was charged with grand larceny
Larceny
Larceny is a crime involving the wrongful acquisition of the personal property of another person. It was an offence under the common law of England and became an offence in jurisdictions which incorporated the common law of England into their own law. It has been abolished in England and Wales,...

, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of stolen property
Possession of stolen goods
Possession of stolen goods is a crime in which an individual has bought, been given, or acquired stolen goods some other way.In many countries, if an individual has accepted possession of goods or property and knew they were stolen, then the individual is typically charged with a misdemeanor or...

 and forgery.

On April 7, 2009, the Times-Picayune alleged a conflict of interest with regard to a trip Nagin took to Hawaii in 2004. The Hawaiian vacation Mayor Ray Nagin, then-chief technology officer Greg Meffert and their families took in 2004 was paid by a contractor. David Hammer of the Times-Picayune reported on April 23, 2009, that Nagin had taken "plenty of other trips" at the expense of NetMethods, a company owned by city vendor Mark St. Pierre. In a subsequent (June 7) article Hammer described potential technicalities wherein the benefits received by Meffert may be legal depending on whether he received them inside or outside New Orleans and whether the source was NetMethods or merely someone associated with the company.

In April 2009, Nagin was obliged "to sit for a deposition as part of a civil lawsuit over the city's controversial crime camera program." Times-Picayune had obtained information that Mark St. Pierre, who allegedly paid for the holiday, had made substantial donations to Nagin's 2006 re-election campaign.

Nagin's Chief Technology Officier, Greg Meffert, has been charged with 63 felony counts in what authorities say "was a lucrative kickback scheme."

Nagin's largest payment from his campaign contributions was written to a Ciber Inc, which has ties to his Office of Technology. The description for the expense was described as a "reimbursement for fund-raiser." Ciber Inc is the company Nagin's Chief Technology Officer, Greg Meffert, is facing 63 felony counts for lucrative kickback schemes.

See also


  • Ed Blakely
    Ed Blakely
    Edward James Blakely is known primarily for having been Executive Director of Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans. He is currently Honorary Professor in Urban Policy at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney....

  • Anh "Joseph" Cao
  • Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson
  • Arnie Fielkow
    Arnie Fielkow
    Arnie Fielkow is a Democratic politician from New Orleans. In November 2006, he won a seat on New Orleans's City Council as a Member at Large, and served as City Council President. He was reelected in 2010. In fall 2011, he announced his resignation...

  • Stacy Head
    Stacy Head
    Stacy Aline Singleton Head is a member of the New Orleans City Council.-Early Life and Career:Stacy Head was born in 1969 as the daughter of Katherine Hamberlin Singleton and Ernest Lynn Singleton. She grew up in Greensburg, Saint Helena Parish, Louisiana...

  • Bobby Jindal
    Bobby Jindal
    Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is the 55th and current Governor of Louisiana and formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives. He is a member of the Republican Party....

  • Shelley Stephenson Midura
    Shelley Stephenson Midura
    Shelley Stephenson Midura is a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana and a former member of the New Orleans City Council. A Democrat, she represented District A from 2006 to her retirment in 2010. She first won election when she defeated Republican incumbent Jay Batt...

  • Veronica White
    Veronica White
    Veronica Toussaint White—born 1963 in Louisiana—is Director of Sanitation for the City of New Orleans, having held that position under appointment by mayor Ray Nagin since 2003. She received her pink slip from mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu on April 22, 2010....

  • Brenda Hatfield
    Brenda Hatfield
    Dr. Brenda Ann Garibaldi Hatfield is the former Chief Administrative Officer of the City of New Orleans, having served under the administration of former Mayor C. Ray Nagin.- Nagin Administration :...

  • Eddie Compass
    Eddie Compass
    Edwin P. Compass, III is a former Chief of Police of the New Orleans Police Department.He resigned as Chief of Police on September 27, 2005. Compass, who earlier said he was organizing a tribunal to handle the cases of 249 officers who left their posts without permission during Hurricane Katrina,...


External links