Other than a "no comment," the only other words Nagin spoke were to back-pedaling photographers and reporters walking ahead of him in an open area next to the Hale Boggs Building, urging them to watch out for obstacles.
"Somebody's gonna get hurt," he warned. "You guys better be careful."
About one-half hour later, Nagin entered a plea of "not guilty" to the corruption charges against him. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan set Nagin's bond at $100,000.
Nagin's attorney, Robert Jenkins, said for now they're just going through the formal arraignment procedures, and have no statements to make.
"We're going to do like any other case and we're going to move forward," said Jenkins. "We're going to follow the law, follow what the judge says and just move on."
Former associates and colleagues of Nagin are apparently set to testify that the former mayor traded the influence for cash and other bribes in exchange for allegedly steering millions of dollars in city business to certain individuals.
Greg Meffert, who modernized the city's website and other information technology, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and kickbacks from Mark St. Pierre, a city contractor. Nagin went on lavish tropical vacations with Meffert which the former mayor says he thought was paid for by his employee, but Meffert says that money actually came from St. Pierre.
In June, another former city supplier, Frank Fradella, pleaded guilty to bribing an unnamed New Orleans official $50,000 and giving that official free granite for the official's family's business. Legal experts say that "unnamed official" is almost certainly Ray Nagin.
More recently, local businessman Rodney Williams agreed to cooperate with investigators after allegedly paying off an "unnamed city official" payoffs in exchange for steering city work to Williams between 2007 and 2010.
In the case against Fradella, prosecutors say he provided truckloads of free granite to the unidentified official. The company run by Nagin's two sons obtained a contract to install granite countertops for local Home Depot stores after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.