by: Jenna Deery Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The arrest of former Mayor Patrick Cannon has Charlotte City Council members reconsidering all the perks they enjoy.
They are currently allowed to accept gifts, no matter how much they cost.
Eyewitness News reporter Jenna Deery talked to a councilman who said they should be held to higher standards, like county commissioners.
Cannon’s arrest devastated the Charlotte City Council.
A federal complaint alleged Cannon accepted bribes for political favors.
That's why Councilman Kenny Smith immediately called for a review of the council's ethics guidelines.
“I do think that it's important that we make sure that the appearance is that we are above reproach,” Smith said.
Smith wants tighter rules on what council members can accept, like game tickets and other handouts.
“They are inviting me because I'm Kenny Smith the public official,” Smith said. “Usually it is for something in return.”
Smith wants the council to adopt rules county commissioners already follow.
The rules prohibited Commissioner Matt Ridenhour from accepting free tickets to the Charlotte Knights opening game.
City Council members were able accept free tickets.
The city and the county helped bring the Knights to uptown.
The county's ethics policy indicates, "No county official shall directly or indirectly solicit any gift… having a value of $100 (or more)."
They also cannot accept anything from an organization the county funds or has a contract with.
City Council members are only governed with a line in their policy that says, "The mayor and council members should avoid impropriety."
There is nothing in it about accepting gifts and it’s up to council members to change that.
Howard plans to contact each council member before recommending changes for the council to approve.