The US Supreme Court has declined to hear former-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s appeal of his 2014 public corruption conviction. Legal analyst Chick Foret says this means Nagin will have to serve out the remaining 8 years of his 10 year sentence, because there is no other court that can hear his appeal.
“He’s taken it to the highest level. They said that they were not going to hear his appeal. The 5th Circuit back in January said that his arguments were meritless,” Foret said.
Foret says it’s not surprising the Supreme Court refused to hear his case, because they only hear a few appeals every year, compared to the thousands of requests that come in. He says for the appeal to be heard, Nagin’s lawyers would have had to show there was irreversible error in the trial.
“Judge Berrigan was the trial judge in this case. If anything, I thought she bent over backwards to give Nagin a very, very fair trial. She gave him a 10 year sentence, well below the federal sentencing guidelines,” Foret said.
Nagin was convicted on 20 counts of bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud, and filing false tax returns. Foret says Nagin probably thought the nation’s highest court would hear his case after former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s corruption conviction was vacated by the Supreme Court.
“They talked about whether or not his acts were official acts. Ray Nagin attempted to use that argument. It didn’t help him in this case,” Foret said.
Nagin is the first New Orleans mayor to be convicted of public corruption.