NEW ORLEANS (AP) — During sharp exchanges with a prosecutor in his corruption trial, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin flatly denied seeking $60,000 from a contractor who had just been turned down for city business in January 2008.
Nagin also continued to downplay his power to approve no-bid contracts, even as Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Coman pointed to language in Nagin executive orders stating that the mayor had "sole authority" to approve such pacts.
The testy exchanges with Coman came during cross-examination. Earlier, Nagin's lawyer questioned him during a calm, point-by-point defense against allegations that he took hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes during and after his two terms, which ended in 2010.
Nagin took the stand Thursday after days of testimony from prosecution witnesses, including five who said they were involved in bribing the ex-mayor.