• Former Charlotte mayor could return to face voter fraud charges

    By: Jim Bradley

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One year ago, former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon reported to a federal prison in West Virginia. Soon he could be back in Charlotte – temporarily – to face state voter fraud charges.

    Sources told Channel 9 that local prosecutors are trying to make arrangement with federal prison authorities to have Cannon brought to Charlotte within the next few months. 

    Cannon is accused of voting in the November 2014 election after his conviction on federal bribery charges had taken his voting rights away.

    Cannon was the centerpiece of one of Charlotte’s biggest political scandals in 2014. Federal agents say he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from undercover agents, including $20,000 in cash inside the mayor’s office. For the last year he’s been serving time inside the federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia. 

    If Cannon is brought back to Charlotte to face the state charges he’ll be housed in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Legal experts said his voter fraud case is unlikely to involve an active prison sentence but resolving it soon could still be to Cannon’s advantage.

    “If he does get any active time it’s very likely it would run at the same time as his federal time,” said attorney James Wyatt.

    Cannon’s attorney, James Ferguson, declined to comment Wednesday. Cannon is scheduled to be released from federal prison in February 2017.   

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