Former New Orleans mayor to start 10-year sentence for graft

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Former New Orleans mayor to start 10-year sentence for graft
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 23: New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin testifies on Capitol Hill on September 23, 2008 in Washington, DC. Mayor Nagin spoke about his city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina as well as its recent experience with hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Officials from the Gulf area were on Capitol Hill requesting lawmakers for federal funding to aid in recovery efforts for over $14 billion worth of damage after the two recent hurricanes devastated the region. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
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Aerial view of massive flooding and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina September 7, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
Shrimp boats piled up on a bridge blocking the highway almost 60 days after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area October 25, 2005 in Empire, LA.
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Aerial view of massive flooding and destruction scattering cars in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 2, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
Aerial view of massive flooding and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina including a broken retaining wall part of a levee September 7, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
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Barber Shop located in Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana, damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
View of massive flooding and destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 6, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
View of massive flooding and destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 6, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
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Survivors rescued by FEMA urban search and rescue teams in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
Survivors being evacuated at New Orleans Airport to other states in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 1, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
An elderly couple walk up the ramp to the Superdome after being rescued from their flooded home as the city is evacuated due to hurricane Katrina August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
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Thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors from New Orleans are relocated to a Red Cross shelter in the Houston Astrodome September 1, 2005 in Houston, TX.
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FEMA urban search and rescue teams search for survivors by boat in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 5, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
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FEMA urban search and rescue teams search for survivors by air boat in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 3, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
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FEMA Urban Search & Rescue teams carry and injured elderly man to an evacuation helicopter in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 1, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
Survivors being evacuated at New Orleans Airport to other states in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 1, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
Hurricane Katrina survivors from New Orleans search the message board for loved ones after being relocated to a Red Cross shelter in the Houston Astrodome September 4, 2005 in Houston, TX.
Sep 04, 2005; New Orleans, LA, USA; SEAN PENN escorts infirm people to Ochsna Hospital following a gas main fire in their neighborhood. Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bryan Smith/ZUMA Press. (©) Copyright 2005 by Bryan Smith
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FEMA urban search and rescue teams pull a survivors to safety in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 5, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
Survivors rescued by urban search and rescue on an airboat in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
FEMA urban search and rescue teams search for survivors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 5, 2005 in New Orleans, LA.
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(Reuters) - Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was due to report to federal prison on Monday to begin serving a 10-year sentence for corruption during the years when the city was struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Nagin, a Democrat, was thrust into the national spotlight in 2005, when Katrina overwhelmed levees and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, killing 1,500 people and causing some $80 billion in damage.

He is due to serve his time at a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, according to television station WDSU.

Nagin, 58, plans to appeal his conviction. He has said in court filings that he is nearly penniless, and has been granted a court-appointed lawyer.

The onetime cable company executive who served as New Orleans' mayor from 2002-2010 was convicted on 20 criminal counts including bribery, conspiracy and money laundering, all tied to payments he received for granting city contracts.

Seeking re-election in 2006, Nagin, a black politician who had enjoyed strong support from both black and white voters, seemed to adopt a racially divisive tone, urging residents to rebuild a "chocolate New Orleans," referring to its majority black population.

Under federal sentencing rules, Nagin would serve about 8-1/2 years in prison with good behavior.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky. Editing by Chris Micahud ad Simon Cameron-Moore)

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