Charlotte mayor accused of bribery, extortion

Charlotte mayor accused of bribery, extortion
 (CNN) — FBI agents on Wednesday arrested the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, for allegedly taking tens of thousands of dollars worth of bribes “in exchange for the use of his official position,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Patrick D. Cannon, 47, faces federal charges of theft and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, honest services wire fraud and extortion under color of official right, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins of western North Carolina.

The Charlotte mayor’s office declined a CNN request for comment.

First elected to City Council in 1993 — when he was 26 and two years removed from graduating from North Carolina A&T State University — Cannon served through 2005, including the last four years as mayor pro tem.

Cannon, the president of a private parking business, spent four years out of office until being elected to City Council again in 2009. Between 2010 and 2013, he served as both a council member and mayor pro tem until his election as mayor in November 2013.

Federal authorities launched their corruption investigation in August 2010, using FBI agents who posed as commercial real estate developers and investors looking to do business in the North Carolina city, Tompkins’ office said.

Investigators documented five separate occasions between January 2013 and February 2014 in which Cannon allegedly took more than $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and a luxury apartment from the undercover agents.

In the last instance, authorities say Cannon got $20,000 in cash in the mayor’s office.

He allegedly accepted the largesse in exchange for returning the favor using his powers as a City Council member, mayor pro tem and, eventually, mayor.

Cannon appeared in court Wednesday and was released on bond, the U.S. attorney’s office reported.

If convicted on all charges, he could be sentenced to as many as 50 years in federal prison and pay as much as $1.5 million in fines, officials said.

Cannon succeeded then-Mayor Anthony Foxx, who in July 2013 was sworn in as U.S. Transportation Secretary.

CNN’s Deanna Hackney contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
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5 comments

  • me

    No one sees or KNOWS NOTHING in Positively Richmond Government: Mayor, City Council, owned, operated and run by Consortum(s) of Party Donors, Contributor, and Financiers..

    ….Jones has been fundraising for a possible reelection campaign, with a majority of contributions from Altria Group Inc and Dominion Resources Inc executives and employees. In 2011, Jones re-election committee received 96 donations, 46 of the donations (45% of the total cash value) from these two corporations, their executives, and employees.
    …[3] Complaints of corporate influence and favoritism arose after Jones’ 2008 Election when the Mayor supported construction of a new city jail by City Central LLC. City Central LLC was a Consortium of Individuals and Corporations which were Major Contributors to Jones 2008 election campaign.[4]. Wikipedia.
    There’s a long-running history.

  • me

    On a funnier note: Infamous Harry Reid was caught giving his
    granddaughter $17,000 holiday gifts from his Donor Campaign Funds.
    Won’t see that “covered” in Government/Media, Inc. Being covered up
    by Party.
    Attack Republicans; Facilitate Democrats.

  • manalishi

    !0/1 democrat over republican corruption & sleaze. But they just represent the collective core beliefs of the trash that votes for them.

  • me

    Richmond FBI, Richmond IG, Richmond’s Top Prosecutor, City Auditor,
    State AG/”Enforcer, RTD, 3 TV Stations; are all right here in Richmond.
    All Party; all deaf, dumb and blind.

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