Judge won't hold separate hearing for Nagin lawyer to seek lesser sentence for corruption

Associated Press

A federal judge has rejected former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's request for a hearing devoted solely to arguments about his sentence for corruption.

U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan denied the request Monday. The judge says Nagin's attorney can argue for a lighter punishment than the one recommended by prosecutors on July 9, at a hearing already set for sentencing.

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Nagin was convicted in February on charges including bribery, fraud and money laundering. Some charges carry possible 20-year prison terms.

Prosecutors' sentencing recommendations have not been made public.

Prosecutors say Nagin received more than $501,000 in money, goods and services from businessmen in exchange for lucrative work during his tenure as mayor. The crimes began before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and continued as the city sought to rebuild.