NEW ORLEANS -- Former Mayor Ray Nagin’s two sons appeared on Friday before the federal grand jury investigating their father, the Nagin boys’ attorney said.
Jeremy Nagin, 28, and Jarin Nagin, 25, were the former mayor’s partners in a granite countertop business that’s now at the center of the federal investigation.
The feds are closing in on Ray Nagin after a former associate, Frank Fradella, pleaded guilty recently to conspiring to bribe an unnamed public official otherwise known to be Nagin.
“I’m not in the room (when they appeared before the grand jury),” the sons’ attorney, Clarence Roby, said. “But delivery (of documents) was returned and they made an appearance in person. They were obviously called to testify and return documents.”
Roby said Jeremy and Jarin are not targets of the investigation into their father, but are considered material witnesses and that’s why they were called. But he declined to say anything about what they were asked or what they testified about.
Among the alleged payoffs to Nagin were freebies for the Nagin family firm, Stone Age LLC: truckloads of free granite, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars; and a $50,000 payment from the chairman of Fradella’s company in exchange for documents purporting ownership in Stone Age.
Jeremy Nagin was there at least once when his father met with Fradella, according to the former mayor’s calendar.
In return for the alleged payments and freebies for Nagin, Fradella claims he got favorable treatment in his dealings with the city, which included several big contracts. Nagin also got involved in the failed effort to restore the Market Street power plant on the riverfront and met with Fradella to discuss his role in a proposed $650 million renovation project.
Nagin later got post-mayoral consulting gigs from both Fradella and Green Energy Management Services, a company run at the time by the power plant's co-owner, Michael Samuel.
Nagin owned 40 percent of Stone Age LLC until it went defunct in 2009, and his sons owned the rest.