|56th Mayor of Charlotte|
December 2, 2013 – March 26, 2014
|Preceded by||Patsy Kinsey|
|Succeeded by||Michael Barnes (as Mayor Pro Tempore/Acting Mayor)|
|City Council At-Large Member|
January 2001 – December 2005
January 2010 – December 2013
|City Council Member for District 3 of Charlotte|
January 1994 – January 2001
|Born||November 27, 1966|
|Children||One daughter, One son|
|Residence||South Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Alma mater||North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University|
|High School||South Mecklenburg High School|
Patrick Damon Cannon (born November 27, 1966) is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, Cannon served on the City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina from 1994 through 2013 and was subsequently elected the city's 56th Mayor in November 2013. On March 26, 2014, Cannon was arrested on charges of accepting over $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen wanting to work with the city. Cannon resigned as mayor later that evening, and was later sentenced to 44 months in prison.
Cannon received a bachelor's degree in communications with a concentration in business marketing from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. He also holds a certification from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.
Cannon was elected to the Charlotte City Council in 1993. When he was sworn in, he became the youngest council member in Charlotte history, at age 26. Originally representing District 3 on the city's west side, he was elected to an at-large seat in 2001. He stepped down in 2005, but was reelected in 2009.
Cannon declared his candidacy in the 2013 mayoral election after Mayor Anthony Foxx declined to run again in order to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation. On November 5, 2013, he was elected as the mayor of Charlotte with approximately 53 percent of the vote. He was sworn in as mayor on December 2, 2013 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. At the time of his election as mayor, Cannon was a member of the Charlotte City Council and Mayor Pro Tempore.
Arrest on corruption charges and guilty plea
Cannon was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on public corruption charges of theft and bribery on March 26, 2014, following an FBI sting investigation that dated back to 2010, when Cannon was a member of the Charlotte City Council. He was released on bond at his initial court appearance later that day. He resigned as mayor of Charlotte on March 26, 2014.
On June 3, 2014, Cannon pleaded guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud, which carried a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He made the following public statement after pleading guilty:
It has been said that to whom much has been given much is required. For nearly half of my life, I have had the honor of serving the people of Charlotte. Much has been given to me in the way of the public's trust. I regret having acted in ways that broke that trust. For that, I am deeply sorry. I love Charlotte. It is the city of my birth. I regret having hurt the city that I love. Out of concern for the city, I immediately resigned my post as Mayor. Today, I have acknowledged being guilty of accepting monies for constituent services, something that should never have been done while serving in elected office. As I have asked of my family and friends, I also ask of you the public: your forgiveness. I understand the anger, frustration and disappointment that my actions have caused. I can only hope that the life that I live from now on will reflect both my remorse and my desire to still make a positive impact upon our city. Finally, I want to express my appreciation to my family and friends, to my legal counsel, the faith community, and to the many people whose expressions of unconditional love and support have been, and continue to be, sources of strength and encouragement.
Cannon was sentenced to 44 months in prison on October 14, 2014. He is serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution, Morgantown, a minimum-security facility in West Virginia, and is scheduled for release on January 25, 2018.
After his conviction, Cannon voted early on October 30, 2014, while he was under house arrest. After the vote, which did not count, he told a U.S. District Judge, "I did it without thinking." On March 16, 2016, he pleaded guilty to attempted voter fraud. This did not add time to his sentence.
- Morrill, Jim (November 3, 2013). "Decision 2013: It's your vote". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: McClatchy Company: 21A.
- Foreman Jr., Tom; Weiss, Mitch (March 26, 2014). "Charlotte mayor resigns; accused of taking bribes". Charlotte, North Carolina: AP. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- "Patrick D. Cannon, Mayor Pro Tem". Charlotte, North Carolina: The City of Charlotte. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- Morrill, Jim; Harrison, Steve (September 8, 2013). "Cannon says that his history of defying the odds has defined him". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: McClatchy Publications. pp. 1A.
In fall 1993, former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt asked his own political mentor to take under wing a young politician long on promise but short on experience. Democrat Patrick Cannon was 26 and had just won a City Council district primary. He was about to become the youngest member ever elected.
- Morrill, Jim (November 5, 2013). "Charlotte Mayor: Democrat Patrick Cannon wins". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: McClatchy. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013.
- Harrison, Steve (December 2, 2013). "Patrick Cannon Sworn in as Charlotte Mayor". Charlotte, North Carolina: The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- "Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon arrested on corruption charges". Charlotte, North Carolina: The Charlotte Observer. March 26, 2014.
- Jenkins, Colleen (March 26, 2014). "North Carolina mayor arrested on federal public corruption charges". Reuters. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- "Charlotte mayor resigns; accused of taking bribes". Winston-Salem Journal. Associated Press. March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Washburn, Mark; Gordon, Michael; Morrill, Jim (March 27, 2014). "Mayor resigns after corruption charges". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: The McClatchy Company. p. 1.
- Gordon, Michael; Leland, Elizabeth; Portillo, Ely (June 3, 2014). "Patrick Cannon pleads guilty to corruption charge". The McClatchy Company. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- "Patrick Cannon 's statement". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: McClatchy: 4A. 4 June 2014.
- Gordon, Michael (November 7, 2014). "Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon sentenced to 44 months for taking bribes". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina.
- "Patrick Cannon pleads guilty to voter fraud". WCNC-TV. Charlotte, North Carolina. March 16, 2016.
- Gordon, Michael (March 15, 2016). "Former Mayor Patrick Cannon back in Charlotte to face voter fraud charges Wednesday". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Official site of Mayor of Charlotte
- Cannon for Mayor campaign site at the Wayback Machine (archived June 12, 2013)