N. Orleans mayor endorses lawmaker under FBI probe By Russell McCulley Sat Oct 7, 11:17 PM ET NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman from Louisiana, under investigation by the FBI after they found $90,000 in cash in his freezer, was endorsed by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on Saturday and vowed that allegations of bribery would not hurt his re-election campaign. "I have been effective, and I will continue to be," Democratic Rep. William Jefferson (news, bio, voting record) said as he opened his campaign for re-election in November 7 congressional election. "It's really based on knowledge of the Congress and relationships with members, and that doesn't change." The eight-term Democratic congressman has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes. But the FBI is investigating him for allegedly taking bribes to help promote business deals in Nigeria. Federal agents have raided Jefferson's Capitol Hill office and his homes in New Orleans and Washington, carting out boxes of documents and the $90,000 in frozen cash. Two former associates of Jefferson's have pleaded guilty to bribery charges and agreed to cooperate with investigators. In June, Jefferson was removed from the powerful House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. Nagin, who an won an uphill re-election bid in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans last spring, told reporters he was returning a favor by endorsing Jefferson. "He was one of the few elected officials that supported me during the mayor's race, and I told him that if he needed my support, I would reciprocate," Nagin said. "Until he's indicted, I think we ought to presume he's innocent until proven guilty." Jefferson said he was counting on Nagin to help him mobilize votes from the city's black population, which is scattered around the country after Hurricane Katrina forced most people to evacuate when it struck on August 29, 2005.