Judge restricts sharing evidence against Nagin

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Ray Nagin’s attorneys must keep a log of who sees federal evidence against the former New Orleans mayor, and are restricted in how they may share such evidence, a federal judge says.

U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan’s order is aimed at preventing public disclosure of others involved in the case.

Prosecutors say in court papers that they don’t plan to black out names and other sensitive information from the electronic communications, financial reports, tax returns, banking records, telephone records and other records.

Nagin, accused of taking bribes from contractors while he was mayor, has denied wrongdoing.

Defense attorney Robert Jenkins did not object to the government’s request for the order.

He did not respond to a request for comment Sunday from The Associated Press.

U.S. Attorney Dana Boente’s office filed the request for the order May 31.

Berrigan’s order lets Jenkins copy evidence for his staff and hired experts. But he must keep a list of all persons who receive copies and ensure they return the records.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys involved in criminal cases already are banned from disclosing grand jury proceedings or information presented to a grand jury.

Nagin is scheduled for trial Oct. 7 on 21 criminal counts including bribery, money laundering, defrauding the public and filing false tax returns, among other charges. He is accused of taking bribes or gifts from contactors Frank Fradella, Rodney Williams and Mark St. Pierre, all of whom are expected to testify against him.

Both Fradella and Williams have agreed to plea deals; St. Pierre is serving a 17 ½-year prison sentence for bribing former city technology chief Greg Meffert and is expected to help prosecutors in hope of reducing his sentence.

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