Today, the FBI arrested Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Patrick Cannon, accusing him of taking bribes as an elected official, reports the Charlotte Observer. He’s also been charged with wire fraud and extortion. He had been under investigation since 2010 when the FBI were tipped off that he might soliciting and accepting cash rewards for favors, both as a city councilor and as mayor.
According to this press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of North Carolina:
The complaint and law enforcement affidavit allege that Cannon accepted the bribes from the undercover FBI agents on five separate occasions. On the last occasion, on February 21, 2014, Cannon allegedly accepted $20,000 in cash in the Mayor’s office. According to the complaint and the affidavit, between January 2013 and February 2014, Cannon allegedly accepted from the undercover agents over $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room, and use of a luxury apartment in exchange for the use of his official position.
Cannon was just elected mayor last November. He succeeded former mayor Anthony Foxx, who Obama tapped to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation last year, and Patsy Kinsey who served out the remainder of Foxx’s term. If convicted, Cannon faces a maximum ten years in prison and $250,000 fine for the bribery charge, 20 years and a $1 million fine for the wire fraud charge and another 20 years and $250,000 fine for the extortion charge.