After being found guilty in a corruption scandal, former North Carolina Mayor, Patrick Cannon, was sentenced to 44 months in federal prison.
In 1993 at just 26 years of age, Cannon was elected to the Charlotte City Council and at the time of being sworn in, became the youngest council member in the city’s history. Initially, he represented District 3 but then in 2001, was elected to an at-large seat. Although Cannon stepped down in 2005, he was reelected in 2009.
Cannon declared his candidacy in the 2013 mayoral election and on November 5, 2013 with roughly 53% of the vote was elected as Charlotte’s official Mayor. At the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, he was sworn in on December 2, 2013 while still being a member of the city council an Mayor Pro Tempore.
On March 26 and just three months after becoming the Mayor of Charlotte, North Caroline, Cannon, 47 years old, was arrested during a meeting for an illegal payoff with undercover agents.
He was charged and this past June, pled guilty to accepting $50,000 in bribes that stem from January 2013 and February 2014. An affidavit associated with the corruption case shows that over $1 million in kickbacks was sought by Cannon.
After his arrest, Cannon immediately resigned from his position as Mayor. Voters had high hopes in the promises made if elected but as more and more information surfaced pertaining to the scandal, shock quickly turned to anger and disgust. Not only did Cannon accept bribes in 2013 while a city councilman but in 2014 as the city Mayor.
In exchange for a plea of guilty, prosecutors said they would not ask the court for a sentence of more than four to five years, this according to federal guideline recommendations.
Prior to today’s sentencing, United States District Judge Frank Whitney listened to the prosecutor’s request but is not bound by the plea agreement. Considering that Cannon could have been sentenced the maximum of 20 years in Federal prison, he got off with a light sentence.
Standing before the judge, Cannon apologized for his actions and stated that not only has he failed as a father, husband, and citizen, but also a servant leader.
He admitted to hurting his family and the community, saying that was the reason he decided to be fully cooperative from the start. While leaving the courtroom, Cannon simply said, “Hopefully, the community will be forgiving”.