Charlotte, NC -
Charlotte City Council members said today they learned of Mayor Patrick Cannon's arrest on federal charges at the same time the public did.
Just before 2 p.m. the U.S. Attorney's office issued a release containing the federal complaint against him. He is charged with theft and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, honest services wire fraud and extortion.
According to the charges, he was the subject of an undercover investigation that began sometime around August 2010.
At the press conference this afternoon, city council members expressed disappointment.
Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes said he had not spoken to Mayor Cannon Wednesday.
Under current law, Cannon will remain mayor unless he is convicted of a felony or resigns from the job. If that occurs, Barnes will assume the position of Mayor until an election is held.
City Manager Ron Carlee is working with the U.S. Attorney on the investigation, and the city has pledged it's full support.
Furthermore, city council members said they will continue to serve the city, and noted that they do not have the authority to remove Cannon from office.
Carlee said he spoke with Cannon today, but did not ask him to resign.
In a written statement issued this afternoon, city council officials said they are committed to preserving the city's reputation. Despite increased attention on the city, council said city services will continue uninterrupted.
If Mayor Cannon is convicted of a felony, City Council will appoint a Mayor to fulfill the remainder of the term.
Continue to check with MyFOX Carolinas as this story develops.
WJZY FOX 46 3501 Performance Rd. Charlotte, NC 28214 Main Number: (704) 398-0046