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April 17, 2014

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Former N.O. mayor to return to the stand Friday

Updated Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 | 2:34 a.m.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It's another day on the witness stand for former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin.

Nagin is expected to undergo more cross-examination Friday. He took the stand in his own defense Thursday to counter days of damaging testimony from witnesses in his federal corruption trial.

Under friendly questioning from his own attorney — followed by some sharper exchanges with a prosecutor on cross examination — Nagin flatly denied accepting or seeking bribes during his two terms as mayor from 2002-2010. The former Democratic mayor also downplayed his power to approve no-bid contracts during his time in office.

Prosecutors allege that Nagin's corruption included the period after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, when contractors sought to benefit from potentially lucrative rebuilding jobs in the devastated city.