Ex-Mayor Nagin’s corruption trial continues in New Orleans with financial official’s testimony


NEW ORLEANS – Prosecutors in former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s federal corruption trial presented the jury with testimony and email evidence that Nagin pressured a national retail giant to do business with his family.

Ken Knutson (keh’-NOOT’-suhn) is a lobbyist with The Home Depot and described Nagin as a “shake down artist” in testimony Tuesday that centred on contracts the retailer granted to the ex-mayor’s granite business.

Testimony and email evidence indicated Home Depot officials were wary of dealing with Nagin as they sought to build a new store in New Orleans. But Home Depot granted contracts to the business owned by Nagin and his sons.

Prosecutors say Nagin worked to curtail a community group’s efforts to obtain benefits from Home Depot while seeking contracts from the retailer. Home Depot has not been charged with wrongdoing.

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