Editor's note: A press conference with the FBI and U.S. Attorney's office is scheduled for 1 p.m. Check back for updates.
Posted 12:25 p.m.:
Dressed in a gray suit and carrying his usual stiff upper lip, Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty in court today to one count of honest services wire fraud. Under his plea agreement, the former mayor waived his right to appeal his conviction and sentence, which will be determined at a future court hearing.
If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Cannon agreed to assist the federal government in its continuing investigation. He could potentially testify in a court and turn over any relevant documents.
Cannon's remarks during the hearing were brief. He acknowledged the judge's questions and thanked his attorneys. After the hearing, he spoke to the media gathered outside the courthouse. "I regret having acted in ways that broke [the public's] trust," he said. "For that, I am deeply sorry. I love Charlotte. It is the city of my birth. I regret having hurt the city I love."
1 p.m. press conference:
U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins briefly spoke about the case in front of just about every media outlet in town, referencing the bill of information regarding Cannon's charges and repeating that neither she nor the special prosecutors who joined her at the press conference would answer questions about the ongoing investigation or otherwise. John Strong, the special agent who oversees the FBI in North Carolina, added that Cannon wasn't the end of their investigation. He said more charges would be brought against individuals and more arrests would be made.
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