Sentencing nears for former New Orleans mayor

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Associated Press

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 7 at 7:37 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's steep descent from the days when he was seen as a fresh-faced reformer continues this week when he's sentenced in federal court on 20 criminal charges counts including bribery, money laundering and fraud.

Defense attorney Robert Jenkins will ask for leniency when Nagin stands before U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan on Wednesday. In court papers, Jenkins says the 20-plus years sought by prosecutors amount to a "life sentence" for the 58-year-old Nagin and will deprive his teenage daughter of her father.

Prosecutors say a harsh sentence is just, given the seriousness of the crimes and Nagin's repeated denials. They say his actions harmed the city before — and especially after — the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe in 2005.

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