Former Mayor Ray Nagin avoided questions as he left the federal courthouse Wednesday after being handed a 10-year sentence on corruption charges, quietly walking to his car in the middle of a scrum of media.
Lead prosecutor Matt Coman, in brief remarks on the courthouse steps, thanked Judge Ginger Berrigan for her diligence and said the 10-year sentence would send a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated. He noted that prosecutors objected to the sentence, but said a decision on whether to appeal will be up to the U.S. Solicitor General.
Coman’s remarks were interrupted repeatedly by Dyan “Mama D” French-Cole, who shouted that former prosecutor Jan Mann -- who resigned after being caught up in an online-commenting scandal -- should be going to jail instead.
Chante Sutton, bishop of the Destiny Institute in Algiers and one of several church leaders who appealed to U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan to grant Nagin leniency, said he spoke with the former mayor just before and after the sentencing.
“He didn’t look so good getting in the vehicle. He was a little bit ambivalent, trying to hold up,” Sutton said. He said he’s been close to the Nagin family for several years.
“He still wasn’t really sure, but I think he’s at ease now,” Sutton added. “He can rest better knowing where it is.”
More coverage of Ray Nagin’s sentencing from The New Orleans Advocate.