Opening statements begin in trial of ex-mayor
NEW ORLEANS - A federal prosecutor opened the government corruption case against former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin by telling a jury that "corruption was alive and well" at City Hall during Nagin's two terms as mayor.
Nagin's lawyer countered by noting the criminal history of one witness and the deals prosecutors made with others in the case against the former mayor.
Twelve jurors and four alternates were seated Thursday afternoon after the trial was delayed for two days because of frigid weather.
Nagin is charged with accepting bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work.
Charges in his 21-count indictment include bribery and wire fraud. The case already has resulted in several convictions or guilty pleas by former Nagin associates.