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Big city Democrat mayor arrested for corruption resigns in disgrace

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The Democrat mayor of North Carolina's biggest city resigned on Wednesday almost immediately after he was arrested and charged with public corruption by accepting bribes -- including one to setup a meeting between a "businessman" and President Barack Obama -- in an FBI undercover operation, according to law enforcement officials.

Mayor Patrick DeAngelo Cannon allegedly accepted almost $50,000 from undercover FBI agents who told him they were corporate executives who wanted to make business deals with the Charlotte government.

According to the affidavit released by the FBI, while investigating an unrelated case, the FBI obtained information that the 47-year-old Cannon was allegedly "mixed up in illegal activities" associated with his position as the top elected official in a Democrat Party-run town.

The FBI agents then initiated an undercover investigation August 2010. The agents said that during their operation, it was Mayor Cannon who solicited money bribes and things of value from the undercover FBI agents and the agents reported he accepted the cash bribe from them.

During Cannon's last encounter, according to the agents, he accepted another $20,000 in cash.

Cannon, who was considered a friend and supporter of President Barack Obama, promised to put together a meeting with Obama in an attempt to gain finances for a streetcar project for a businessman who gave Cannon multiple bribes, according to federal court documents.

In Cannon's letter of resignation, he wrote that the arrest and the pending charges would prove to be a roadblock to the important business of the city government.

After a career as a local talk show host, Cannon was first elected to the Charlotte City Council in 1993.He eventually became the city's mayor last November after he defeated the Republican candidate, Ed Peacock.

In addition to cash bribes, Cannon accepted airline tickets, a hotel room, and use of a luxury apartment in exchange helping the undercover agents using his official position, according to the FBI.

If convicted on all the charges, he faces at least 20-years imprisonment and over $1 million in fines. Cannon is currently free on bail.

In a statement to local reporters, North Carolina's Gov. Pat McCrory said: "I am both saddened and angered because I have known Patrick and his family for over 30 years, but more than anything my heart is broken for the City of Charlotte. This is not the city that I know, served and love. This alleged behavior is inexcusable and cannot be tolerated."



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