As former Mayor Ray Nagin prepares to head to federal prison, his lawyer, Robert Jenkins, has asked a judge to allow him to withdraw as Nagin’s counsel, saying Nagin is “indigent” and cannot cover the costs of a planned appeal.
The Nagin family’s financial woes are well known. Nagin’s wife, Seletha, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May, a move that appeared partly aimed at preventing the seizure and sale of the family’s townhouse in Frisco, Texas.
Later that month, U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan — who in July sentenced Nagin to 10 years in prison — ordered the mayor to forfeit $501,201 to the federal government, a judgment that allows authorities to seize and sell the Nagins’ assets.
More recently, in a letter to the court, Seletha Nagin said her husband has been unable to work since his legal problems began, adding that she has had to apply for food stamps.
Nagin is set to report to federal prison Sept. 8. According to WDSU-TV, which cited an unnamed source, he has been directed to serve his time at a federal prison camp in Texarkana, Texas.
Jenkins last month filed papers in court indicating that Nagin plans to appeal the verdict.
A jury convicted the former mayor on 20 of 21 counts related to corruption, including bribery, money laundering and filing false tax returns.
Jenkins’ motion to withdraw from the case was filed Friday, but it is signed: “Respectfully submitted this 15th day of July, 2014.” The reason for the lag was not clear. Jenkins did not return a call seeking comment.
His motion asks that a public defender be appointed to represent Nagin. It does not say how much Nagin owes him.