Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin arrives at the federal courthouse Wednesday for his arraignment on corruption charges. / Matthew Hinton, AP
Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he accepted more than $200,000 in bribes and various gifts from businesses seeking city contracts.
Nagin, 56, was released on $100,000 bond. Trial was set for April 29.
A federal magistrate ordered Nagin to surrender his passport and restricted his travel to Louisiana and Texas, where he lives outside Dallas. He left office in 2010 after serving a maximum two terms.
The FBI's corruption investigation has already resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and two businessmen, along with a 17-year prison term for a onetime city technology contractor. All have agreed to testify against Nagin, who shot to national prominence in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.
Nagin, a former cable TV executive, was indicted last month on charges that include bribery, wire fraud, filing false tax returns, conspiracy and money laundering.
The indictment alleges that, between 2005 and 2008, Nagin:
* Accepted more than $70,000 in bribes from a consultant who later won more than a dozen public works contracts with the city.
* Received paid lodging and vacation expenses for himself and his family in Hawaii and was flown first-class to Jamaica by a city contractor.
* Accepted a free private jet trip to Chicago and Las Vegas from another contractor.
* Enriched his New Orleans-based family granite supply company through dealings with the city.
Nagin is also accused of lobbying to help The Home Depot get tax breaks and dodge a pledge to pay above-market wages for workers living near a planned store, The Times-Picayune noted. The Home Deport was not charged.
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