Ex-Charlotte, North Carolina mayor to plead guilty in corruption case

WINSTON-SALEM N.C. Mon Jun 2, 2014 2:15pm EDT

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon addresses mayors and staffers in this City of Charlotte photo from December 2013. Cannon was arrested on March 26, 2014 on federal public corruption charges that include accepting more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents, a U.S. attorney's office said. REUTERS/City of Charlotte/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon addresses mayors and staffers in this City of Charlotte photo from December 2013. Cannon was arrested on March 26, 2014 on federal public corruption charges that include accepting more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents, a U.S. attorney's office said.

Credit: Reuters/City of Charlotte/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

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WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - The former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city, is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday in a federal public corruption case that prompted his resignation after less than four months in office, court documents show.

Patrick Cannon, who resigned in March on the same day as his arrest, has indicated he will admit to one count of honest services wire fraud, a U.S. attorney's spokeswoman said on Monday.

Charging documents say Cannon secretly used his positions for personal gain between December 2009 and March 2014, depriving the city of his "honest and faithful services" as an elected leader.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Cannon, a Democrat who had previously served on Charlotte's City Council, is accused of taking at least $50,000 in bribes from federal agents posing as real estate developers and investors wanting to do business in the city.

The bribes allegedly included a $20,000 cash payment he is accused of accepting in the mayor's office in February, as well as airline tickets, a hotel room during an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas and use of a luxury apartment in Charlotte, prosecutors said.

Cannon's attorney, James Ferguson, declined to comment ahead of the plea hearing set for Tuesday morning in Charlotte.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Bill Trott)

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