Brian Marshall, a contractor with ties to convicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for falsifying business for a prime Katrina recovery contractor.
Marshall, who lives in Tampa, Fla., ran Fireline Restoration, a subsidiary of Home Solutions of America. Fireline provided the a private jet in January 2007 to fly Nagin, his wife Seletha, former city tech chief Greg Meffert and others to the Saints’ first NFC Championship Game appearance in Chicago and on to Las Vegas.
When Nagin was convicted on 20 counts of corruption, bribery and fraud in February, prosecutors alleged that the plane trip was a part of a bribery conspiracy involving Nagin and various Home Solutions officials. One was Aaron Bennett, the former owner of a Home Solutions subsidiary who admitted that he arranged the trip for Nagin to get close to the mayor and get contracts.
As soon as the plane returned to New Orleans, Bennett got a no-bid deal from Nagin’s administration to pay taxpayer money to technology vendor Mark St. Pierre, who had provided free trips to Hawaii, Jamaica and elsewhere for the mayor.
Home Solutions’ CEO, Frank Fradella, was a key witness against Nagin at the trial. Fradella pleaded guilty to paying Nagin a $50,000 bribe and truckloads of free granite for Nagin’s family countertop installation company, in exchange for special treatment on Home Solutions’ city contracts.
The granite was delivered from Fireline’s yard in Tampa to Nagin’s countertop company, Stone Age LLC.