by: Tenikka Smith Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Patrick Cannon's rise from public housing to public office was a success story often touted by Men Who Care Global.
The organization works to provide positive role models and mentors to young African-American men and boys. Executive Director Victor Earl said he never imagined Cannon's journey would include the possibility of time in the penitentiary.
"I was just blown away that the mayor, the man I knew could be involved in such a heinous act,” Earl said.
Cannon has actively been involved with the group since it formed in 2011, when he was mayor pro tem.
"He believed a lot in giving back and making a difference." earl said, "That was Patrick Cannon the man. Patrick Cannon the mayor may have gone a different route."
A route that a federal complaint alleges involved corruption, extortion and misuse of power. They are accusations that have left Earl disappointed and facing some tough conversations with the young men who looked up to Cannon and are now watching this scandal unfold.
"The conversation at this point is whether you're a mechanic or whether you are mayor you still have a certain level of ethics and credibility that you have to live up to," said Earl.
The Charlotte branch of the NAACP also weighed in on Cannon's arrest and resignation. President Kojo Nantambu said the organization respects the Cannon family's privacy and is praying for the family and city as it transitions through this ordeal.