CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Former Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon should be out of a federal prison in the next week. WBTV has learned that Cannon is expected to be released on September 15.
Cannon, the only mayor in Charlotte history jailed for official corruption, has been held at the Morgantown (W.Va.) Federal Correctional Institution since November 2014.
He was charged with public corruption after taking more than $50,000 in bribes, mostly from undercover FBI agents posing as out-of-town real estate developers, while serving as Charlotte's mayor.
The last installment – and the biggest chunk – changed hands in the mayor's Government Center office.
The FBI's investigation into Cannon began in August 2010 when court documents say agents received "reliable information" that Cannon was potentially involved in illegal activities associated with his position as an elected official. Cannon was on the Charlotte City Council at the time.
He was elected as Charlotte mayor in November 2013 and took office in December.
Cannon resigned from the position in late March 2014, nearly eight hours after he was arrested by the FBI.
He was initially charged with theft and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, honest services wire fraud and extortion under color of official right. Cannon pleaded guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud in June 2014.
He entered prison on Nov. 18, 2014, to start a 44-month sentence.
In March 2016, Cannon was back in Charlotte for a short time to face charges of voter fraud. The charge stemmed from an absentee ballot Cannon cast in October for the November 2014 general election. As a convicted felon, Cannon was not allowed to vote.
Cannon signed a plea agreement to a lesser charge of attempting voter fraud, a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. He will serve one day in jail, which will run concurrent to his federal time served.
The U.S. Bureau of Prison lists Cannon's release date as Jan. 25, 2017 when he will have completed slightly more than half of the original term.
According to The Charlotte Observer, federal prisons shave 54 days off an inmate's sentence for every year of good behavior. In Cannon's case, that meant a potential overall cut of more than a half a year – or about 198 days – from his time.
Shortly after his incarceration on Nov. 18, 2014, he was admitted into the prison camp's Residential Drug Abuse Program, or RDAP, to confront a drinking problem that reportedly surfaced after his arrest. Once he completed the program, Cannon cut another year off his sentence.
The prison system can also allow Cannon to serve the final 10 percent of sentence – a little over four months – in home confinement, a Charlotte-area halfway house, or some combination of both.
As part of his sentence, Cannon also will serve two years of probation and continue to pay off what remains of a $10,000 fine.
When Cannon arrives back in Ballantyne, probation officers will be waiting with a homecoming present – an electronic ankle bracelet, the Observer reported. He will wear it until Jan. 25. Under the terms of his release, Cannon can leave his house only for doctor's visits, religious services and work.