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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

After Mayor Patrick Cannon Arrested, Charlotte City Council Defers Choice

Charlotte City Council met tonight and voted to pass a motion postponing choice of a new Mayor of Charlotte until next Monday, April 7th.  Several members expressed that they wanted a little more time to hear from constituents, even though voters will not be given a direct voice.  Behind the scenes, it doesn't seem there is consensus supporting one candidate.

Some citizens have come forward asking for a new election in November, but that would require legislative intervention from State representatives, and many local elected officials balked at the notion of requesting assistance from Raleigh.  

Mayor Patrick Cannon has been arrested and charged last week on federal corruption charges, including violations of the Hobbs Extortion Act, using his office, Theft or Bribery, and Wire Fraud.  

The Complaint clearly states that the FBI undercover investigation began with another City of Charlotte employee, which then led to Cannon.  Cannon is quoted (in the Complaint) referencing a City employee that would be very helpful to the undercover agents:

(The) “city manager’s made (him/her) part of his executive team. (He/she) could be a city manager but (he/she) doesn’t want to. (He/she) wants to continue to do planning and all that kind of stuff.” 

The Complaint states after Cannon was given free use of a $2,100 per month apartment with special entry/exit, Cannon gave the name of a City Department Head to the undercover agent, explaining how helpful that person would be to the fake investors used in the FBI sting operation.

From, the Manager's staff is listed:

City leadership bios
City Manager Ron Carlee
Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble
Assistant City Manager Eric Campbell
Assistant City Manager Hyong Yi
Executive Team Member Debra Campbell
Chief of Staff Carol L. Jennings

Sentences if Cannon is convicted on charges:
Maximum 10 years in prison & $250,000 fine for THEFT and BRIBERY
Maximum 20 years in prison & $1,000,000 fine for FRAUD
Maximum 20 years in prison & $250,000 fine for EXTORTION

If convicted, there should be a hefty sentence to demonstrate that "leaders" are not above the law.  Cannon's wife is implicated in the affidavit, but she has not been arrested.  Pity and sadness should be for the Cannons' children.   

More arrests for corruption in Charlotte may be on the way.  Probably a number of locals are very nervous.  Remember that the $48,000 and other gifts allegedly accepted by Cannon are only the items documented in the undercover sting after other allegations surfaced.  There may be more.  And there may be other people who are finally caught.  Now that the FBI has finally gotten an investigation underway, why not clean house?  

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