The mayor of Charlotte, N.C. is has stepped down from his post following an arrest Wednesday morning. Patrick Cannon resigned later that afternoon after undercover FBI agents nabbed him for accepting a series of bribery offers and other public corruption charges.
Cannon’s tumble from his mayoral position began long ago as the FBI began investigating him in August 2010. Cannon accepted thousands of dollars in cash from the agents who were posing as business developers and investors looking to begin work in the Queen City.
According to Charlotte news outlet WCNC, Cannon was said to be shocked and upset over the arrest while refusing to cooperate with authorities. It is alleged that other individuals may be involved in the scandal as well.
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Sources tell NBC Charlotte that Cannon is “not cooperating” with investigators, and that the corruption investigation continues to “identify others who might be involved”. Those sources also said Cannon was “very upset” and “absolutely surprised” when he was arrested Wednesday morning in the FBI sting.
The FBI says Cannon accepted cash from their agents five different times over the years. The last such exchange took place on February 21 of this year. In that exchange, Cannon took $20,000 inside the mayor’s office. WCNC writes that the first of these exchanges began in January 2013 according to a Department of Justice report.
In all, Cannon accepted $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, hotel stays and other perks in exchange for the ex-mayor’s grace in granting access to the undercover agents. Cannon claims the money he took was to fund a feminine hygiene product he was developing called HERS and stands by the idea that the money he took was going towards his business.
Governor Pat McCrory expressed disappointment in Cannon over the indictment in a written statement. Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes will serve as the interim mayor.
Cannon was charged with theft, wire fraud, bribery and extortion.