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Former mayor of Charlotte to plead guilty to fraud, investigation ongoing

Patrick Cannon could spend up to 20 years in prison and face $250,000 in fines.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 2, 2014 at 7:07 PM  |  Updated June 2, 2014 at 7:34 PM   |   Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 2 (UPI) -- Disgraced former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is expected to plead guilty to corruption and fraud charges Tuesday, stemming from his March 26 arrest for accepting bribes.

In January 2013, federal agents recorded video of Cannon accepting $2,000 from an undercover officer to influence local zoning, planning and transportation issues to make it easier for a local adult entertainment club to remain open.

"There's nothing better than those recordings," Jennifer Rodgers, the head of Columbia Law School's Center for the Advance of Public Integrity, told the Charlotte Observer. "There's nothing you want more than a defendant in his own voice committing a crime. That's the best."

All told, Cannon will plead guilty to using the mayor's office to extort nearly $48,000 in money and gifts over a four-year period in exchange for political favors. Upon sentencing, Cannon will face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 in fines.

Prosecutors arrested Cannon as part of a widespread investigation into local corruption in Charlotte, and neither his sentence nor their agents rule out the possibility of future prosecutions and arrests

"This investigation did not end with Patrick Cannon's arrest," promised prosecuting U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins on Monday.

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