The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday January 20th

Charlotte mayor resigns after arrest on corruption charges

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned after being arrested Wednesday on public corruption charges, allegedly accepting more than $48,000 from undercover FBI agents.

Cannon accepted bribes from undercover agents posing as real estate agents between January 2013 and February 2014 in cash, airline tickets, hotel rooms and use of a luxury apartment, according to a Department of Justice release.

Cannon’s conversations with agents were released in the affidavit.

“OK, so I mean, ‘cause I’m not, I’m not one of those Chicago or Detroit type (of) folk,” Cannon told an undercover agent, according to the affidavit.

Cannon ended the conversation by saying he looked good “in an orange necktie, but not an orange suit.”

Later Wednesday, Cannon resigned from office.

“In light of the charges that have been brought against me, it is my judgement that the pendency of these charges will create too much of a distraction for the business of the city to go forward smoothly and without interruption,” he said in his resignation letter.

After a four-year investigation, Cannon is being charged with theft and bribery, wire fraud and extortion.

Cannon, who had been on the Charlotte City Council since 1993, was the longest serving public official in Charlotte. He became mayor in November when Anthony Foxx left the position to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He graduated from N.C. A&T State University and earned a certification from the UNC School of Government.

If convicted of all charges, Cannon faces up to 50 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte’s former mayor, called Cannon’s alleged behavior inexcusable in a statement.

“I am both saddened and angered because I have known Patrick and his family for over 30 years, but more than anything, my heart is broken for the city of Charlotte,” he said.

Officials on the Charlotte City Council said in a press conference that Cannon’s arrest came as a surprise.

“The city of Charlotte has a long history of honest government and the city council is dedicated to preserving the city’s reputation,” their statement said.

Brady Nails, UNC-Charlotte student body president, said the student government had been working on getting Cannon to speak at the university.

“I guess we dodged a bullet there.”

state@dailytarheel.com


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