Lawyer: Ray Nagin Released From Prison Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin
Ray Nagin released from prison amid COVID-19 concerns.  Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been released from jail due to COVID-19 concerns.

His lawyer confirms that the 63-year old was released yesterday and from a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, and is now in Texas with his family.

In recent weeks – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the federal government has been strategically releasing non-violent inmates who have completed more than half their prison sentences.

Nagin was convicted in 2014 on 20 bribery, money laundering and tax evasion charges.

The Bureau of Prisons released this statement regarding Nagin’s release:

“Ray Nagin transferred from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Texarkana to the supervision of the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Dallas Residential Reentry Management (RRM) Office. His projected date of release from the custody of the BOP is 03-16-2023.”

He started serving his 10 year prison sentence in September of 2014 and was scheduled to be released in 2023.

The U.S. Attorney told us his office had not yet been made aware of the release.

Nagin, a Democrat, served as mayor from 2002-2010.

He was the first mayor in New Orleans history to be convicted on bribery charges.

Again, Nagin’s lawyer tells us the former mayor has been released due to COVID-19 and is home with family near Dallas, Texas.

Financial trouble surrounded former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, since his conviction.

Nagin’s wife, Seletha Nagin, filed for bankruptcy in the Eastern District in Texas in 2014.

Nagin owes more than a $500,000 in restitution in the case.

Nagins’ home in Texas was scheduled for foreclosure sale in 2014. The filing is in the name of Seletha Nagin.

According to court records, she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

That’s the most common form of bankruptcy. The filing provides for what’s called an “order for relief” or an “automatic stay.” It immediately stops most creditors from trying to collect on debts — including the Nagin home in Texas.

Back in 2014, the home was the subject of foreclosure proceedings. Chapter 7 allows the debtor to keep certain property provided they go to credit counseling.

Court records indicate the Nagins primarily incurred consumer debts and owe creditors anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000.

Some of the debts and creditors listed in the filing include the IRS, Dillard’s, Macy’s and their mortgage company in Texas.

Nagin was convicted by a jury in 2014 and Federal Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan sentenced him to 10 years in jail.

She did a ‘downward department’ of the recommended sentence of 17-20 years in jail.

In an exclusive interview with WDSU in 2014, Nagin sounded a defiant note after being sentenced.

“Well, you know, all of this is pretty surreal to me,” he said. “I still maintain my innocence. We’re going to appeal this thing and, you know, it’s just something that’s very difficult.”

“I think the public outpouring absolutely had to have an effect,” Nagin said. “I think the judge was under a lot of pressure, both from the media and the prosecutors, and I think that helped her to make a good decision.”

“It’s been tough. I mean, I’m under a form of house arrest, I can’t really do much, I can’t really travel. I mean, my freedom has been pretty much taken away,” he said in 2014.

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