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What happened to Ray Nagin's e-mail?

The Times-Picayune, the newspaper of record in New Orleans, has called for a criminal investigation into Mayor Ray Nagin and his staff. A criminal investigation into a New Orleans politician? Yes, yes, there's a first time for everything, right?

But this isn't about nepotism or payola (although Nagin might be on the hook for that one, too). No, no, nothing so conventional. This is about e-mail.

In February, a large swath of Nagin's e-mail went missing. Nagin called the disappearance "inadvertent," claiming that a storage problem caused them to be deleted from the city's overloaded mail servers.

From the Times-Picayune's editorial:

"Even now, he clings to that explanation.

"But as New Orleanians learn details about the e-mail's disappearance, Mayor Nagin is sounding as plausible as if he were claiming that the dog ate his e-mail."

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