The city of Charlotte, N.C., has become the latest city to lose a black mayor over corruption allegations. Mayor Patrick Cannon, who has only been in office for six months, was arrested Wednesday for taking more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as potential vendors for the city. Cannon submitted a letter of resignation after his arrest to city officials stating in part that his arrest and charges,”will create too much of a distraction for the business of the city to go forward. I regret that I have to take this action, but I believe that it is in the best interest of the city for me to do so.” The resignation was to take effect immediately and has stunned the city.
In addition to the $48,000, Cannon is also accused of accepting airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment as bribes and solicited more than $1 million more. He also bragged to the agents about his connections to the governor of North Carolina and a recent visit and meeting with President Obama. Even the agents told him during the sting, “you’re operating at quite a level Patrick.” If convicted Cannon faces up to 50 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. Cannon was a successful businessman before becoming mayor of Charlotte and is founder of EZ Park, a parking management company.