NEW ORLEANS – A key figure in the federal investigation into possible corruption by former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is expected to plead guilty Wednesday to a bill of information in place of charges he was expected to face in connection with a Texas case.
“That will charge Mr. Fradella with two counts – one of the Dallas charges, a securities fraud charge from the seven that were in Dallas – and a second charge, charging Mr. Fradella with conspiracy to bribe a city official from the city of New Orleans,” said Randy Smith, Fradella’s attorney.
Court documentation doesn’t specifically name Nagin, but according to Smith, it came close.
“The Bill of Information says that public official A served as an agent of the city of New Orleans from May 2002 through May 2010,” said Smith. “It doesn’t name him and it’s not my right to name him. The government, for whatever reason, is calling it public official A. But, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”
According to reports, Fradella helped Nagin’s family-owned granite countertop business secure work with Home Depot after Hurricane Katrina at a time when Fradella’s companies held lucrative city rebuilding contracts.
Court documents were not as specific.
“It just talks in terms of trying to influence a public official to help with city business and with the public official receiving benefits in exchange,” said Smith.
Fradella is expected in court Wednesday to plead guilty to that two-count bill of information.