NaginLegalDefenseFund.com claims that Nagin “lacks the resources for a more robust defense,” and seeks “tax-free” donations to an independently administered trust set up on Feb. 27. That was about two weeks after the former mayor was convicted on 20 of 21 federal corruption counts.Though no one has verified it, if I had to guess, I'd say this is legitimately a fund for Ray Nagin's defense and not just some scam. This isn't to say that there isn't an element of scam to it, but that's another issue.
The site says gifts will support, among other things, “living and travel expenses related to clearing the Nagin family name.” It also rails about prosecutorial misconduct in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and suggests that unsettled questions about other online postings could be grounds for Nagin to get his conviction overturned.
WWL-TV has not been able to determine if this is a real independent trust or even if Nagin is aware of it. But we did verify that at least one New Orleanian is already donating to it.
In any case I'm kind of disinterestedly rooting for Nagin at this point. Jim Letten's stint as US Attorney was every bit as much an exercise in egotism and hypocrisy as Ray Nagin's terms as mayor were. Nagin's legacy has already been justifiably blown to hell. We're really just getting started with Letten.