Charlotte, NC — Patrick Cannon, the mayor of Charlotte resigned Wednesday just hours after he was arrested on public corruption charges. He is being accused of accepting more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted business contracts in the city. He now faces several charges including theft and bribery.
Cannon, who is 47 years old, had only been in office just 114 days. He had been elected mayor in November 2013, replacing Anthony Foxx, who was named Transportation Secretary by President Obama.
If convicted of all charges, he can face up to 20 years in prison and $1 million or more in fines.
A spokesman for the city of Charlotte said that Cannon had already submitted his resignation letter to the city manager and attorney, and that in his letter Cannon admitted that pending charges “will create too much of a distraction for the business of the city to go forward.”
Being that his resignation is effective immediately, Michael Barnes will serve as interim mayor until the City Council appoints a councilmember as the new mayor.
Cannon is one of many African Americans that have served as mayor of Charlotte. The first African American mayor of the city was Harvey Gantt, who was in office from 1983 to 1987.