Ex-Mayor Nagin goes on trial for bribery charges

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is going on trial on federal bribery charges.

The trial is scheduled to start Monday. Nagin is at the center of a corruption case that mushroomed at the end of his second term and led to several other guilty pleas or convictions.

Prosecutors allege that the 57-year-old Nagin accepted free trips and more than $200,000 in bribes from contractors in exchange for helping them secure lucrative city contracts.

Nagin was first elected in 2002 on a platform to curb corruption at City Hall.

He first came onto the national scene after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. In impassioned, sometimes controversial remarks, he was sharply critical of the federal response to the disaster that left most of the city flooded.

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