TPM Livewire

Charlotte's Brand New Mayor Turns Out To Be A Lemon

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Jeff Siner

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Charlotte on Wednesday announced the arrest of Mayor Patrick Cannon (D), on charges including theft and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, honest services wire fraud, and extortion under color of official right. According to officials, the FBI had been investigating Cannon since August 2010, when he was still a member of the City Council.

Documents filed Wednesday in federal court allege that Cannon accepted bribes from undercover FBI agents on five separate occasions between January 17, 2013 and February 21, 2014 -- a time period which covers campaign season, Election Day, and Cannon's inauguration. In a press release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said that that the undercover agents had posed as commercial real estate developers and investigators who wanted to do business in Charlotte. Between January 2013 and February 2014, officials say, Cannon accepted $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room, and the use of a luxury apartment.

Cannon appeared in court Wednesday and was released on bond. He faces decades in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if convicted.

A reporter with WCNC approached Cannon after his court appearance Wednesday, but Cannon declined to comment.

"There's nothing too much I can say at this point, but when I'm able to, I'll touch base," Cannon said.

This post will be updated.