The FBI thinks the mayor of Charlotte, NC, is a crook. Federal prosecutors today charged Patrick Cannon 47, with taking bribes after a four-year investigation, reports the Charlotte Observer. Cannon allegedly accepted about $50,000 in cash, airline tickets, and use of a luxury apartment from undercover FBI agents posing as real estate developers, reports WSOC-TV. That includes a $20,000 payment made right in the mayor's office last month, say the feds.
Cannon has been mayor only five months, but the investigation goes back to his days on the City Council. He is accused of taking five separate payments since January 2013 and using his influence to set up meetings between the "developers" and key city officials. The AP highlights one back-and-forth noted by the FBI, which followed the exchange of $12,500:
- Undercover agent: "You know, again whatever you can do to get our application moved up towards the top, uh, business license and things like that, that we need."
- Cannon: "Yeah, not a problem."
If convicted on all the corruption charges, Cannon faces 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines. He was released on bond today following a court appearance.