Former CLT Mayor Pat Cannon (D) to plead guilty to federal corruption charge
Patrick Cannon is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to a federal public corruption charge that carries up to a 20-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
According to court documents released to the public early Monday, Cannon will appear in federal court at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer. At that time, he will plead to one count of honest services wire fraud, an umbrella charge commonly used in cases where public officials take kickbacks or bribes, documents say.
The charge basically means the 48-year-old Democrat used his mayoral and city council posts for illegal gain, depriving city residents of his “honest services” as their elected representative.
Cannon did not answer the door at his house Monday morning. Asked why his client had agreed to plead guilty rather than fight the charges in court, attorney James Ferguson said Monday morning that he could not comment.
Honest services fraud is one of the three corruption charges leveled against Cannon at his March 26 arrest. At the time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office accused him of accepting almost $50,000 in bribes. In exchange, Cannon promised to use his office to assist real estate deals pitched by undercover FBI agents posing as out-of-town investors.
According to the new document, Cannon is accused of soliciting and accepting a series of bribes from a Charlotte businessman, identified as “Businessman #1,” whose adult entertainment club was in the path of the Blue Line Extension through north Charlotte.
Welcome to the culture of corruption – Charlotte, NC style. Perhaps Cannon’s new nickname should be “Strip Club Patrick.”
Read the Twitter reaction to reports of Cannon’s expected plea here.