Patrick Cannon will return to Charlotte this week to face a charge of voter fraud

The 49-year-old former mayor, currently serving time in federal prions, will be arraigned Wednesday in the Mecklenburg courthouse on a single charge of voter fraud.
Former Mayor Patrick Cannon returns to Charlotte this week to face a charge that he voted illegally in October 2014, moths after he pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge. (Photo: The Charlotte Observer)
Former Mayor Patrick Cannon returns to Charlotte this week to face a charge that he voted illegally in October 2014, moths after he pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge. (Photo: The Charlotte Observer)

Former Mayor Patrick Cannon will be in Charlotte Wednesday to answer charges that he voted illegally in the fall of 2014 after he had pleaded guilty on federal corruption charges and was awaiting to start his prison sentence.

In a notice emailed to local media on Monday, a spokeswoman in the Mecklenburg district attorney’s office said Cannon would be arraigned on a charge of voter fraud at noon in the county courthouse.

“As this matter remains a pending case, ethical obligations prevent the DA’s Office from commenting further at this time,” said the spokeswoman, Meghan Cooke McDonald.

Cannon, 49, is serving a 44-month sentence at a federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia. He was arrested in March 2014 on charges that he accepted more than $50,000 in bribes from FBI agents and a Charlotte strip club owner. He resigned as mayor the same day. In June, he pleaded guilty to a single corruption charge and apologized to the city and his supporters.

While Cannon was waiting to be sentenced, however, he cast an early vote on Oct. 30. As a convicted felon, Cannon had lost his right to vote.

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Cannon and his attorneys told a federal judge in November of that year that the former mayor did not realize he was breaking the law when he voted at Ballantyne Commons. “I did this without thinking,” Cannon said. “The light didn’t come on that day.”

According to the Bureau of Prisons website, Cannon is scheduled to be released from federal prison in January 2017.

The Charlotte Observer contributed to this report.

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