Taxicab companies claim Cannon reps tried collecting cash - | WBTV Charlotte

Taxicab companies claim Cannon reps tried collecting cash

Almost one week after his arrest, former Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon may be in more hot water. A whole slew of "Taxi Cab Confessions" could mean trouble may again be brewing for Cannon.

After Cannon resigned from office last Wednesday, hours after the FBI arrested him on corruption charges, owners of local taxi cab companies began talking and accusing him of demanding bribes.
WBTV talked to two different cab companies who said they received a very similar pitch back in 2010.

"It was pretty much you guys want to be back at the airport you got to bring in $10,000 and we'll make it work from there," said Obaid Kahn, owner of Diamond Cab.

In 2010, when Charlotte Douglas Airport reduced taxi services from 12 companies to three citing better service for travelers, Kahn said his company was boxed out of work.

That is until he said he was approached by someone representing Patrick Cannon to buy his way back in to the airport business.
"It wasn't Cannon directly," said Kahn. "It was his people."

Naheed Kashmary, who co-owns Royal Cab, said he had a similar run in with a man working on behalf of Cannon while Cannon was a city council member.

"They came to my office and took me in the back room and closed the door and made sure all the windows were closed," said Kashmary. "Then he started talking."

Kashmary said the man requested a $10,000 donation to Cannon's campaign in return for help navigating the waters to reach customers at the airport.

"I got nervous and I called my attorney and he said, 'No, don't do it,'" said Kashmary, who was told what was happening was illegal.

Kashmary says a handful of other cab companies got the same treatment. Both Kashmary and Kahn said they did not pay the $10,000.
"We didn't want to go that route at all," said Kahn.
Instead the two men started telling people about what happened, but Kahn says it wasn't until FBI agents arrested Cannon that people started to believe their story.
"A lot of these people thought we were joking around," said Kahn. "We have faith in God and we knew one day he would bring out the truth and he has. We're just thankful for that."
Calls made to Cannon's attorney James Ferguson for a response were unsuccessful Tuesday night.
WBTV will continue to follow this developing story.
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