Just over two weeks before he is scheduled to be sentenced on federal corruption charges, convicted former Mayor Ray Nagin is asking the judge for leniency, with his attorney calling him a respected community figure with no prior criminal record.
In a motion filed Friday, attorney Robert Jenkins cites the fact that Nagin has no prior criminal record.
"The totality of circumstances regarding Mr. Nagin favor a reduced sentence," writes Jenkins.
"Mr. Nagin had a completely sterling record," says Jenkins, adding that the former mayor is also the caretaker for his wife and children.
Nagin, who was found guilty on 20 federal counts in February, is set to be sentenced July 2 by Judge Helen "Ginger" Berrigan. Legal analysts say he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Jenkins calls the possible prison time and probation a "virtual life sentence" and says the impact on Nagin's young daughter, wife, and elderly parents would be detrimental. Nagin's two sons, and their role in the family granite business, were both mentioned during the trial.
In Friday's motion, Jenkins references numerous "character letters," which have not yet been released to the public, with people vouching for the former mayor.
"It is hard for those who know him, both close friends and family…to believe that Mr. Nagin was even capable of having the criminal intent to commit the crimes for which he was convicted," Jenkins writes. "The allegations…as well as the Government’s evidence at trial are a complete aberration to his otherwise outstanding life as a businessman, family member and citizen."
Jenkins also cites various cases which called for lesser sentences for defendants because of no prior criminal record.