Metaphor alert: The former mayor of Charlotte, NC, literally fell today as he walked to court to plead guilty to corruption charges. And a bit later, the guilty plea itself was "the coda to a spectacular fall" for Patrick Cannon in city politics, reports the Charlotte Observer. The 47-year-old admitted to one count of "honest services wire fraud," which translates into an admission that he accepted bribes from developers. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, reports WSOC-TV.
Cannon got caught during an FBI sting earlier this year, when he had been mayor for less than six months. Authorities, however, say his corruption began years earlier as a city councilman. In the sting, Cannon accepted about $50,000 in cash, plane tickets, and other perks from agents posing as real estate developers. He had been all-star local politician, with a compelling life story that began with him being raised by a single mom in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, reports the AP.