Former New Orleans mayor gets 10 years in prison for bribery

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin testifies before a US Congressional Committee on the impact of disasters on American cities, in Washington, DC, March 2010.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin testifies before a US Congressional Committee on the impact of disasters on American cities, in Washington, DC, March 2010.

(CNN) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday in a bribery scandal that rocked the city, according to the Times-Picayune newspaper and CNN affiliate WDSU.

In February, a jury found him guilty of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and other favors from businessmen looking for a break from his administration.

Of the 21 counts against him, he was convicted of 20.

The former mayor maintained his innocence even after the conviction.

Prosecutors argued that Nagin was at the center of a kickback scheme in which he received checks, cash, wire transfers, personal services and free travel from businessmen seeking contracts and favorable treatment from the city.

A January 2013 indictment detailed more than $200,000 in bribes to the mayor, and his family members allegedly received a vacation in Hawaii; first-class airfare to Jamaica; private jet travel and a limousine for New York City; and cellular phone service. In exchange, businesses that coughed up for Nagin and his family won more than $5 million in city contracts, according to the indictment.

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