Jul 9, 2014|
Angela talks to Metropolitan Crime Commission President Raphael Goyeneche and Southern University Criminologist Dr. John Penny about the Nagin corruption trial
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
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Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Started -- Our first hour then this is a day in history. First time that -- mayor of New Orleans and the city that's almost 300 years old is going to go to prison Ray Nagin going to prison. -- sentenced for ten years probably. -- I'm so pleased that the dubbed the people reporters who were able to come up here and sort of give us their perspective having covered it for so long and. Trick for you still with this that we are now joined by and and delighted. Rock feel going in at -- who is president of the metropolitan crime commission. And doctor John penny a criminologist or southern university and I I thank you both like we have much to talk to about the eight Amanda's been holding on for a while Anthony. And it has been happening. I just wanted to say thanks today at -- the risk of all of you know ten year sentence. Tomorrow we can put on a dome attention future politicians. -- back and we opened for business. So you say the lighter sentence. Why wouldn't somebody it's really. Adept at working this at the very in this system. Not wanna come here but come -- politician. And then go to the country club you know for eight years. You know -- Anthony I appreciate you calling on I appreciate your comments and I think. To a degree there's a lot of people thinking the same thing I would like your perspective. On what he -- Premiums well. -- I think. Anytime you gate in. Didn't gaze into it in the type of activity is that's outside the law you know the consequences should come you know they gonna come if you're caught. I think so once you are incarcerated. There is so country club in your life is restricted and and so it teaches you that. And instead of being in control of your life somebody -- could chose so there is a the perception that if a country club it may not be derogatory as some of those state penitentiary but is still. And that's your life has been restricted in the end you're no longer. Eight what to do to -- aren't you know movies Bartlett I think that that issue is. If it were stronger sentence would it have been a deterrent I don't think so. I think. And and I'm not I kinda thought -- defenses might be longer. But I think that when you look at the intent. Does -- original intent of the criminal justice citizen -- was to be swift and certain and make sure that it deter crime. And I think for some people if you put him in jail fifty years there would deter them from some people enlargement in their first. Determines if it's shot a long term so I think it depends upon individual but I think that. One of the province where we have put the criminal justice system is that. Didn't oftentimes. No matter what the census says we have waited so long it does not have to do -- deterrent effect home. Rafael. My eight pure Anthony's comments I I share some of the sentiment in that I believe that the mayor's conduct. Was egregious and and -- necessitated more time but having said that ten years. -- to serve eight and a half is a significant felony. And -- exit the significant amount of time if he could turn back the clock. And say look you have a chance to do this so -- again. Do you wanna take all of the graft and payments and favors and everything and still have to go to jail for eight and a half years I think he's saying now. I think that if you polled every one of the public officials that have been convicted. -- felonies or pled guilty to felonies and ask if they could do it over in lieu of four or five year sentences. I would be surprised if any from says five years is worth. The money that they took for that so having said that I think that. Mayor Nagin is now a convicted felon. And his legacy will be one of disgrace. And he's gonna be sitting in a federal penitentiary for a 102 months doing 85%. Of his time. In every day fan it past the 51 month it checked for a way forays correct saying that there was a deal on the table for five years. With a good time he would pony down 51 months. So every day after that 51. Month he's going to be thinking I should have taken the deal I could have been out here. So he's gonna pay a terrible price he has paid a terrible price the reason I think that the penalty. Is insufficient because this community. Paid a terrible price and some people are still paying that price of the betrayal of the mayor. But I do believe that his sentence will serve as a deterrent. To other politicians because no politician could clear. Contemplating breaking the law. His effort thinking they're gonna get caught. Well I think that's a whole thing -- we wake up in the morning paper in the article. The we talk about an hour earlier show. That's the showing sixteen people on our area who either pled guilty or found guilty. Everybody from felonies -- -- Oliver Thomas jaundiced on it goes on on sixteen people not counting -- but seventeen people post-Katrina right. And that means. Who else is out there. And I want to believe all of this is a deterrent. But. What happens to people once I mean let's remember that Ray Nagin came into office waving a banner of anti corruption. You know some people and and I had a discussion with the someone in law enforcement several years ago after. You know several indictments had been issued consecutive fully. And you know this this law enforcement officials saying when do you think the public officials are gonna get to where they were really serious about this and and you know I said you have to keep in mind that some public officials can afford to take a pay cut I'm just being good and honest public servant. They've been doing it in giving -- any of -- so long. That they're not gonna just go back to there. You know public responsibilities. And duties because they can't support themselves and their lifestyles are meant. And those would be the people that we will expose. Going forward -- this but there's no way to quantify how many public officials that may have been contemplating. Crossing the line that were deterred from this. And -- I've been doing this for 27 years. And I can tell you that the quantum shift in the public's attitude was that Katrina. And these cases that you just recited post-Katrina. Almost every one of those cases started as a result of a citizen. Stepping forward in providing information whether -- in the media the crime commission or law enforcement. And the public now recognizes. That the responsibility. For combating corruption. Isn't on -- street US attorney's officer at the lake front with the FBI's office sits at the image staring back at them in the mirror. And if they have information about corruption and they don't reported -- they're part of the problem that light switches and flipped off. In the on position in the collective mind sets of the people in this community and they are more inclined today to report corruption than ever before. And I think this sentencing today puts an exclamation point that even. The mayor or the former mayor of the city of New Orleans can and will be held accountable FE betrays the public trust. And I think that even though descendants may not do justice to the crime that he committed. I believe the public recognizes. That we cannot afford to go back to the old way of doing business. And I don't think it will serve as a deterrent to the public going forward to report wrongdoing -- to law enforcement organizations like the crime commission. Everyone stay with the sun. We're gonna continue our discussion with -- feel -- -- -- and doctor John penny and again delighted to have chief foreign -- stay with us and gives a -- you have any thoughts. 2601 examine the financial under the -- well they heard. Forced president the next waterfront commission doctor John -- criminologist and senators today and -- wonderful and -- Let's let's talk about that looks. But since they're the force of denial with and that man is incredible and still lives and even today that winning an opportunity to say I'm sorry I did wrong didn't. But -- did you really have to understand and I we have if maturity here one of one of the issues that I was discussing about the deny you. If in fact that was historic gone forward. And who's going to be fences. He's never gonna say that I apologize because -- -- that I've not done anything wrong. And that's that issue that we have to confront in the criminal justice system. I've heard judges say well why you don't you're not shown in a remote from the guys turnarounds that I didn't do any thing. Sosa didn't do we have to look at as that at the contradiction in this send a minister. Well he's done -- I'm standing by the test on May even if he's believing that minute -- only by the testimony and you can't just say as a bigger person. I am I apologize to this community a positive -- for for this disappointment that your feeling but I stand. I mean I'm not really that I would you don't. What does it take I think the community. Could live. And be more accepting of a ten year sentence and if there was some expression of remorse or regret. You know some. Culpability admission. I you know I made mistakes and I apologize to this court to this community for this. But there is none of them. And I don't believe that. Mayor Nagin. Honestly believe that he could have accepted to all of the gifts and payments and trips. And benefits. From those vendors doing business with the city. And if he thought it was acceptable because he went to great planks to trying conceal. From the public and the media. Some of his meetings there roar recorded and his calendar and he rejected that information. Went to great experience to. Denying and cover up who paid for some of his lavish family vacations. And all of this. So there is not this is not an innocent oversight. This is a man that knows that he crossed the line. And he attempted to escape justice and provide excuses for it. Jury didn't buy his arguments. And he had two days on the witness stand to trying to convince them. That it was an honest mistake and they were legitimate excuses or explanations for it. And you know the jury spoke guilty of joining 121 counts and now the judge put the exclamation point. On this case today is. Where do you agree with it or disagree with that it's over we move on now as a community. And we learn from it. And still have a little different spin on I think we actually. Can blame the media. We can blame the legal analysts such as myself. Because reset to higher bar as to what we fought the sentence was going to be. I share some responsibility. In in leading the public to believe that he was going to get somewhere arrested fifteen years last year on non last week on Don -- show. We went through that the federal sentencing guidelines and there was newspaper articles -- the floor was twenty years and we all did all this. If we take a step back and there was no Twitter and there was no social media and then -- no legal analysts and you asked the general public. Edwin Edwards -- ten years. Ray Nagin did a similar type thing he's going to get ten years are you offended I think most people would say no I'm really not offended and -- ten years in spite. Human nature is such that when you get chick -- say oh he's gonna get fifteen. There's no question he's going to get fifteen to -- twelve and I have. People just think that that's what's going to happen and I think judge -- again. If I can defend her to her credit I think she took a step back from all that even the federal sentencing guidelines and she said in my heart. And she knows more about the facts of this case that any of us combined. She said in my heart I believe that ten years is a fair and just sentenced not only to mr. -- but also to the government. And so. But no more than a reflect upon -- the more than I understand it. Where she ended up and and ten years as the sentence and it's a long time for a 58 year old man to serve and her -- country. There is something -- about the human nature that says. Whether you are gonna take the blame were not for sending our standard high. That's it he's not gonna suffer enough. Well you know what I was I just happen to grab the newspaper despondent. And and of course. Everything on the front page was in big emboldened those bumper and they convert. I think says when you look at at and but my my appreciation as. I don't think it's the the the amount. Lift them -- Quantity of time that makes a difference in one's life. I just think that the fact that he did not get away with it. And the fact that he was senses that he was tried by jury and they spoke and the decision has been made. And -- some people and I as it as a former probation and parole agent. Some people don't see in this senses as being enough. No matter whether it and I think the only thing left for them is if you would probably. Take you guys out than Republicans just. A string him -- it is a shoot him on the spot and did they would say he died all too soon and then there's never enough sometimes and and and I think dead decade via kill and they can be an overkill. And I think part of it is that there has been no remorse and -- and -- and that adds to it it plays into what do think. But then if he had said -- and -- did not defended retake it by any means. But if he had set. I'm sorry I regret I cause of public great deal of problem. Perhaps there would have windows of ethnic community would feel better. But still some TV says he's done since they're sort of doesn't matter is just if you'd you'd like it says functional class. I'm just curious and we'll probably never know but John we often hear about people who go to prison and literally haven't come to Jesus moment. And and it changes their lives and they become better people and they come out of prison and hopefully they don't want to federalized. I'm wonder if it's if he has the capacity for that. Well one thing that he has experienced enough I was going through all of the things that did go known to. He has been stripped of everything in that a human being -- terrorists. Here's his he and his cherished and lifestyle that he had the money is gone. The families in chaos this house is gone but his reputation is throwing. -- -- you what else can you take from him. I mean I'm just that it's not like you we got away with -- correct now you're you're absolutely correct an end. I'm just not thinking of the external thing separate and apart from the court that that have occurred. In his life at this Floyd and and so. What I read despondent. Hit his wife has worked that a million job. Here's. Public assistance now. I don't know. And he's been sentenced to ten years. So -- everybody in that family right now has been sentenced to a life of shame. I know that if I was convicted of something. I I would probably at some point be able to go on with my life. But I don't think a life whatever be the same brigade is that you've lost a public trust you've lost your family you've lost your money you blow us. Everything that was so dear to you and for some people. They agreed that you've talked about is more employment and it'd just to gain in more even if firework. Billion. And I was in greed enough would not be enough and if it's taken away from me. Then did the harm is done to me because that's all I've lived far. We -- -- around things material things many of us. I think the only remorse for that remain in fields is the remorse that he was caught and held accountable. For that because there is if you if concern for his family. Was. The most important issue. He never would have put himself in that position he never would've gone down the path that he chose. And you know not only did he do this he involved his sons. And the senate process. So he exposed his his sons to potential. Musician -- field that they should have been indicted as well I don't know what the government knows who aren't on that. I think that. You know mayor Nagin was very very fortunate. But the way that this -- it's you know ten years people are saying them now. It could have been a lot worse not just for him over some of his family members keep in mind that. Not only did Edwin Edwards and up turning down a deal and -- Facing ten years but his son ended up being convicted as well. His son went to the federal penitentiary. So I think in many respects. Ray Nagin is unfortunate man the system has given him every break. And you know I think that this community now needs to move on yes and focus on the future and not on. He is sorry -- Tenure as mayor. We're going to have to breaking go to the new show that only come back I'd like to pick up there are no tricky wanna say something we do have some callers I want you to hold on. But we also want to talk about when you talk about moving on special about moving on and what we can do to stop corruption. Stay with this financial undaunted Honeywell today and Jon -- doctor John penny from southern -- it -- and we're talking about the major event to. Dreaming -- going to prison for. Sitting -- in my head I'm -- and a Twitter. And Dominique -- you and I both know from channel four. Has just tweeted out they Karen Swenson is in the process right now of doing a phone interview with Edwin Edwards so I'm sure Caroline then on channel ports and -- and five and six and Edwin Edwards is quoted by Dominick is saying. Everybody is different. Nagin needs to be prepared to lose just about everything that's precious in life except breath itself and that's with the good doctor were just talking about. And Dominique is tweeting that out of looks like Karen Swenson is gonna have perhaps an exclusive interview that when they -- and then when there which was in fact -- oak -- -- -- where Ray Nagin may be gone. Following up just a moment on -- feels point. Which ironic to me is is you when you talk about the two sons. Knowing a little bit about prosecution I think the US attorney's office made a conscious decision. Not to prosecute the two sons. Because they didn't want it to look like there -- piling on Ray Nagin. If you would now ask Matt Coleman. Do you think you. Would like to have prosecuted the two sons knowing what happened today. He wouldn't answer the question yes I Sherman died in those two sons because I did it. Because I didn't want a pile on Ray Nagin because he had no defense he had no case the government had a better case. And Ray Nagin chose to go to trial he god destroy their trials for as the evidence goes he got destroyed a trial when he testified. And Vanessa stood ten years so I think if you attorney's office had to do it over again they what is said. Yeah we pile on the -- and indict somebody hits a comment I've heard many times actually since the trial was exactly that. As they're talking about the owner of the suns. I understand what you're saying -- actually but to the regular Joseph if those guys did wrong they're not held accountable. He's seen -- -- oftentimes prosecutors. Who make this strategic decisions about the presentation of evidence and how is it going to come across we don't -- have Ray Nagin. Have the jury feel some sympathy for him because the suns are sitting there with him it was a prosecutorial decision a strategic decision they made that decision in the live with -- we're gonna go to or call you've been so patient on one. Yes but they're thank you alone some it's an abnormal quite awhile I know you can't thank you Powell's statement here. All my comment is though those sort of -- about the drop and I'm glad there's so 48. Untouchable on that before he came to me at all because model at Abu about -- -- and they get a fair trial. Now it's and bodily not everyone in the community attacked it would that they thought there was -- -- a lot of the suspect as a threat -- well nevertheless. -- -- -- in and -- but without certain them an appellate court. I've made up by the court dirt dog dude as well live. Without question. Mr. Jenkins did not do. -- worked out and the defense but that's the name. Now I know that the glory is its -- -- it I've met them before the very nice -- but however there are TV Roy is and that trial court volleys. And tropical -- some who do this on live it every day. We know who 53 objection at all so when mr. Dinkins come though and the third out what. I would just like -- -- and so simple questions are they any pretrial motions bitch you not -- you bet founder of black that you wish you would have filed. And -- any objections. That you bank that -- time in the -- Because they'll drop the course of this. Anyone who -- if so who practices every day. Would note that mr. Nagin does have a case of ineffective assist of the council up on up appellate rebuke. And it didn't -- we thank you guilty of eleven not percent to fifty an -- I'll let them to go and -- and -- come -- -- that. Okay well my agent let me just say this in this district for an I guess thank you for your compliment thank you for. I guess summit TV lawyer not a trial lawyer I guess as would you -- and a I try to be a trial lawyer but I guess now I guess for today -- -- lawyer. I am a friend of Robert Jenkins and he will be here at 3 o'clock and I have no hesitancy in defending Robert Jenkins. I think between 255 motion that you talking about has no matter. I think Robert Jenkins did a good job mr. mr. Jiang is there a great job he did everything he could. With the garbage that he had to work with and I strenuously disagree with what you just said. And I think Robert Jenkins is a fine human being he's a fine lawyer he can represented meet. Any day of the week and I think you're 2255. Motion that you are talking about a war sports. Thank you -- for the call that thank you chick I appreciate that let's say another quick break we'll come back and get -- Bobby and we're gonna talk about. What can only do to stop corruption front after this -- about the sentencing about Ray Nagin today ten years in the federal prison. Let's go to Bobby in Algiers thank you for holding so long. Angela thank you for taking my call you. But. You had a comment. -- yes I sure can't. Okay thank you for taking my call arm. I think mr. -- got all very easy. And still live -- judge all of kindergarten. All in the man showed no remorse you -- this city. And once again I think you won't put this white's sentence of ten years. If you search that. Is just great again and the old -- promote justice system in the wall once when it's federal all criminal -- 200 brought. All of that there's a complete joke -- -- most political system and that's why we have so many. Not just so white -- crime but the -- -- All just a couple weeks go on incumbent and then twenty year old. Which charged erupted for home invasion he tied up. The people in all the problem didn't showdown and it got -- life sentences. -- light sentences that would never happen and in the columns and that people wonder why aren't. We count while we've -- -- -- is to be revolving door to drive you're join him bought and not. During. I'm really -- and and six well -- are against the state government and they -- and once again. I just wanna say and I'm pretty disgusted I think crime does pay and it is situation and -- What goes to prison. Don't not to drop the so thank you good morning. You very much Bobby let's go to Whelan in McComb. -- -- Not there. That's OK sorry Whalen we mr. You know again that's the sentiment of some. And there will be perhaps other thoughts tomorrow when people really sinks and I think that the real world so hearing news. He's gonna pay the piper. Ten years of your life is a long time. He has lost down on everything and that is not to be diminished -- he came -- and it is his fault and no one's taking away from that but. Let's talk just very briefly because I know it's pie in the sky but. I'm never gonna give up on -- -- we've come so far post-Katrina. With our disgust. Of this type of corruption. I just wanna know if there's anything else we can do. I think there were doing the fact that. 25 cases that have emerged post-Katrina just in the eastern district. Can and that's just some of the cases of the crime commission is involved in not to mention what the FBI is getting from other sources. The fact that there is this barrage of cases. -- is I think indicative of the public's intolerance. Of the betrayal of public trust of of self service vs public service. And the only way that. We're gonna continue to enforce our will. On public officials that betray the public trust is for the public to recognize their role 'cause. Corrupt public officials don't commit criminal -- and -- federal agents are when news cameras are -- and they're doing it back rooms they're doing it. You know in business meetings and things like that. So. It's incumbent upon the public that. Gets that information becomes aware of it -- reported to the authorities to reported two organizations. Like the metropolitan crime commission. Only if that information is put in the hands of someone they can do something about it do we have any hope of deterring future. Corruption or holding the officials there refused but he just to take the pay cut of being a good honest public servant. Accountable. So that's what we've seen over two dozen times post-Katrina. And as I said a little bit earlier almost every one of those cases started with somebody. Caring enough being outraged enough time to pick up the phone and reported somewhere. It's a beautiful word outrage. We need to feel. We need to feel outrage. And not. Sable and isn't affecting me it is he lives here. Where we're all paying a price for this and I think the public recognizes that and they recognize their role. In deterring and their role in preventing future corrupt. Public officials from escaping justice. I I think in addition to that. I think the public has to realize their responsibility. In and perhaps. The end a a collaborative pointy end corruption this world and that is. That there are many people out there who think that you can get something from that and if you go to public coefficient. And you do sucked into the dog with them that that you will be the gain from it. And yet a lot of people -- being encouraged by your action if we stop by -- and you. Believing that there is the pie in the sky and everything gets something for nothing. That we can go and enjoyed the public trough and and and make out good from myself. Well my family then politicians. And other people have video outlet for what they're doing and so. I think it's two way partnership here we just not only public officials. It's -- about how we view government as do we want good government. -- the public good does that stay -- do we want to. Go behind closed -- and receive something good and nobody knows about it and their slogans that. Attitude exists in our community we will all have always have the the possibility of some corruption in government. Permission if you -- to all of you if you could have. One quick conversation with the -- -- would you say to him. Was it worth it yeah and I headed there -- and I think they've -- the response would be no now. Now who. They you know. I stopped trying to rationalize. -- figure out the mindset because to most people. Doing what Ray Nagin did and these other corrupt officials have done more than your share of -- parish attorney. You know a mirror or a City Council member. Most people can't even. Contemplate. Risking themselves their families their reputations for something like that some people are wired differently. So. It's not whether we can understand their mindset most people can't and never will. That's why I'm saying that the public has to be the gatekeeper. -- to demand more from their public officials -- getting engaged and we've seen that. Whether it's citizens for one demanding consolidated -- districts or one assessor. You know for a. The criminal justice system people have to get off the sideline and that is what is happening -- continues to happen. This isn't just an aberration post-Katrina. This is the trend in the mindset. That's why I believe that we'll never totally defeat corruption. But it doesn't have to be our -- students and ugly part of our history but it doesn't have to be our -- Great great statement. About stay with the second one we'll be right back.