NEW ORLEANS – A week before the Ray Nagin corruption trial is set to begin, the defense team has issued 12 subpoenas to witnesses to testify on the former mayor’s behalf, but one says he has nothing of use to say.
The names of those subpoenaed have not been released, but lawyer Daniel Davillier confirmed to WWL-TV on Monday that he received one of the subpoenas issued last week. He says he believes it was issued in error.
“Someone in my firm provided limited work to Mr. Nagin after he was mayor, but I do not expect to be called to testify and I don’t think we have anything to add,” Davillier said. “I spoke with (Nagin’s attorney) Robert Jenkins and I don’t think there’s any disagreement. I don’t think I have anything useful to add for either side.”
Nagin is expected to call former administration members and others to testify who might be able to say that contractors were selected independently from Nagin's control or that they signed off on certain financial relationships Nagin entered into with people who had city contracts. That way, Nagin could argue that he took payments, luxury trips or equipment deliveries from city vendors Frank Fradella, Rodney Williams and Mark St. Pierre while reasonably believing that it was legal to do so.
But Davillier said he provided no such legal advice to Nagin. He declined to say if he represented Nagin's sons, who owned the granite countertop business Stone Age with their father and received some of the alleged kickbacks, but have not been charged with any crimes.
Davillier served as chairman of the New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce and was tabbed by Nagin to help put together a public-private partnership that never launched.