Just minutes before his noon deadline on Monday, former Mayor Ray Nagin reported to a minimum-security federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, to begin serving a 10-year corruption sentence, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Nagin arrived in a white compact car about 11:45 a.m., according to WWL-TV. The station reported that he was accompanied by several family members and that he “spent a long time in an embrace with them” before checking into the facility. The prison camp in Texarkana is about three hours’ drive from the Dallas suburb of Frisco, where the Nagin family moved not long after he left City Hall in May 2010.
Nagin has essentially been living under house arrest since his conviction. After his check-in, he was expected to be strip-searched, put through an orientation and assigned sleeping and living quarters.
Soon, he’ll go back to work as well. Likely job options include food service, landscaping, maintenance, air conditioning and clerical work, according to Bureau of Prisons officials.
The pay will be a pittance compared with what Nagin once made. At Cox Cable, where he managed operations in New Orleans before becoming mayor in 2002, his salary worked out to about $7,500 a week. Given that starter jobs within the Bureau of Prisons generally pay between 12 cents and $1.15 an hour, it may take him half his 10-year term to earn what he then made in a week.
Nagin reported to prison just four days after Greg Meffert, his former chief technology officer who turned state’s evidence and testified against his old boss, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Also, on Friday, a federal judge reduced the 17 ½ -year prison term he had given to technology vendor Mark St. Pierre, who was convicted of bribing Meffert and Nagin, to five years.
Nagin has signaled he plans to appeal his conviction on 20 of 21 corruption-related counts. His case has been turned over to a federal public defender because Nagin says he can no longer afford to pay a private attorney.