Politics

Where are they now? The politicians and public figures of Katrina
Hurricane Katrina washed away the reputations of a gallery of once-high-powered politicians and public officials. From Michael Brown to Ray Nagin, the officials who oversaw the troubled – often botched – response to the 2005 storm have either left public life or, in the ex-mayor’s case, ended up in jail. Here's a look at where they are now.

Ray Nagin

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin made headline after headline in the aftermath of the storm, blasting the Bush administration's response and even suggesting Katrina was God's punishment for the Iraq war. Nagin was re-elected in 2006 but was later hit by corruption allegations related to the rebuilding of New Orleans. In 2014, he was convicted of 20 corruption counts related to bribes for city contracts and other misdeeds, and sentenced to 10 years at a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas.

(Reuters)

Michael Brown

The face of the Bush administration's troubled response to the storm was then-FEMA Director Michael Brown, in charge of the federal government's response and widely criticized for not doing enough to marshal those resources. President Bush's 'heckuva job' to 'Brownie' was one of the more infamous moments from the aftermath. Brown eventually resigned in September 2005. He went on to take a number of roles, including hosting his own radio show, and eventually wrote a book about his experiences during Katrina.

(Reuters)

Kathleen Blanco

Louisiana Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco, pictured here with then-Vice President Dick Cheney, served from 2004 to 2008. Blanco was both praised and criticized in her role. She got more than $29 million in federal recovery funds and left the state with a surplus, but among other controversies was criticized for carving out money for the Superdome. She was later inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. Blanco, though, chose not to seek re-election in 2008 and was succeeded by Republican Bobby Jindal. After leaving office, she nursed her husband after a fall, and successfully fought a battle with cancer. She recently told Gambit that she has been traveling and working on a memoir.

(Reuters)

Eddie Compass

New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass, right, resigned less than a month after Hurricane Katrina hit, amid severe criticism of police violence. Since 2007, Compass has directed security for the state's Recovery School District, which oversees nearly 60 schools in New Orleans, a dozen in Baton Rouge and a few in Shreveport.

(AP)

Mary Landrieu

Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu was praised for her role in the aftermath of the storm, and her name recognition grew as she became a vocal critic of the Bush administration's response to the storm. But she lost a runoff election to Republican Bill Cassidy in December 2014. In a recent interview, she told the Shreveport Times that she has taken a job as a senior policy analyst to a lobbying firm in which she will focus on issues such as energy, the environment and natural resources.

(Reuters)

Where are they now? The politicians and public figures of Katrina

Hurricane Katrina washed away the reputations of a gallery of once-high-powered politicians and public officials. From Michael Brown to Ray Nagin, the officials who oversaw the troubled – often botched – response to the 2005 storm have either left public life or, in the ex-mayor’s case, ended up in jail. Here's a look at where they are now.

More From Our Sponsors