Nagin trial pushed back three weeks

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former Mayor Ray Nagin enters the U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans during a previous court appearance.
Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former Mayor Ray Nagin enters the U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans during a previous court appearance.

Former Mayor Ray Nagin secured a three-week delay in his federal corruption trial Thursday, as a federal judge agreed to give his attorney time to go over recently disclosed documents.

The case was set to go to trial on Oct. 7. It is now set to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 28.

The trial is expected to last two weeks, according to a minute entry filed into the record Thursday by U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan. That entry also hinted at the possibility that Nagin will cut a deal before trial: “Counsel for the parties shall continue to work towards a resolution of this matter,” the document says.

The minute entry summarizes a closed-door meeting between Nagin’s attorney, Robert Jenkins, and federal prosecutors that was held in Berrigan’s chambers Thursday. Jenkins declined to provide details about the discussions, which lasted about 25 minutes, only saying that the former mayor is still girding for trial.

Jenkins had sought a delay of at least 30 days.

“The discovery process in the matter is ongoing,” Jenkins wrote in his motion for a continuance.

“As discovery is ongoing the defendant requires additional time to evaluate newly provided discovery as well as receive and review additional discovery from the government.”

WWL-TV reported last week that the government recently unloaded a mountain documents on Nagin as part of the discovery process. Jenkins’ motion indicates more documents are still expected.

Nagin was charged earlier this year with 21 counts of bribery, money laundering and tax evasion. He has pleaded not guilty.