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He entered New Orleans City Hall as a cool and confidant self-styled reformer, won fame there as a passionate, if profane, critic of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and exited under suspicion.

Next stop for former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin: federal prison.

“Excuse my French — everybody in America — but I am pissed,” he shouted during a radio appearance three days after Hurricane Katrina’s levee breaches left the city awash in foul water and rotting corpses in 2005. The tirade may have endeared him to some, for a time, but Nagin turned out to be a feckless mayor and, as a federal judge saw it, something of a lightweight as a criminal.

“He started out as a rock star and he ended up as just another crass, corrupt politician,” said University of New Orleans Political Science Professor Ed Chervenak.

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