News reports out of North Carolina show that the former mayor of Charlotte, Patrick Cannon, could be sentenced in early September for his conviction related to a corruption case. Cannon entered a guilty plea for the federal crimes in early June. Those allegations included charges of Honest Services Wire Fraud. He had stepped down as the city’s mayor in March after being taken into custody by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
News sources say that a pre-sentence investigation report will be provided to the judge in the case. That report will contain information including the level of the man’s cooperation with investigators, along with any additional factors that prosecutors believe should be weighed before sentencing. The information in that report could have a significant impact on the severity of the sentence Cannon will receive.
Federal prosecutors and investigators have said that the inquiry into Cannon’s alleged crimes has not stopped simply because he pleaded guilty. In fact, FBI agents are currently examining related allegations that could come to light after this corruption case is complete. Those prosecutors say that Cannon demonstrated irresponsibility and a total disregard for the financial duties that came along with his mayoral office.
Cannon could receive up to 20 years’ prison time for his role in the corruption scheme. He could also be required to pay a quarter-million dollar fine, according to news reports. Additional penalties could be enforced if more charges are brought because of the ongoing investigation.
Even those accused of violating the public’s trust while holding elected office deserve fair treatment by North Carolina courts. Defendants who are accused of federal crimes may need different legal support than those who are facing state-level violations, however. The legal strategies used to defend against such high-level allegations may not resemble those used for small, first-time offenses. An attorney with experience in federal court matters is recommended for those facing federal prosecution.
Source: WBTV, “Former mayor Patrick Cannon could be sentenced in early September” Aug. 26, 2014