Corruption

Courtesy of the NCGA

State Senator Fletcher Hartsell may face criminal charges if the State Board of Elections has its way. It found between $100,000 and $300,000 in political contributions were used to finance Hartsell’s personal spending. On Wednesday, the board unanimously referred the case to state and federal prosecutors.

Tasnim Shamma

This morning, Patrick Cannon walked into the Federal Courthouse Uptown and was sentenced to 44 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution and a $10,000 fine. The former Charlotte mayor pleaded guilty earlier this year to taking more than $50,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents. WFAE’s Tom Bullock was in the courtroom.


Tasnim Shamma / WFAE

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is scheduled to plead guilty this morning to a federal corruption charge. Documents unsealed Monday revealed some new information in the case against him, such as allegations of a bribe that a strip club owner paid Cannon for help with a zoning matter.

Julie Rose

Amid an FBI investigation, a city ordered review and claims that corruption was at the heart of the original process, the Charlotte airport is re-opening its controversial taxi contract.

Julie Rose

The FBI has expanded its investigation of corruption in Charlotte. Agents are now looking into allegations of a pay-to-play scheme involving Taxi companies and the airport.

Julie Rose

The head of Charlotte Douglas International Airport says he will take an extra 30 days to decide the fate of the airport’s taxi contract.  That contract is up for renewal. But allegations of corruption has led Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle to look at what legal options he has in seeking a new deal. He made the announcement last night, while airport staff briefed the city council on the process that lead to the contract in the first place.  It was a briefing with some holes.


Courtesy of Charlotte Aviation Department

Officials at Charlotte Douglas International are examining if they should continue to allow just three taxi companies sole rights to pick up passengers at the airport. This after renewed charges a pay-to-play scheme determined those slots. But the airport may have no choice but to extend the controversial contract.

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

Monday we brought you the story of an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving Charlotte Douglas International Airport and taxi companies.  In 2011 the City Council slashed the number of companies that could pick-up at the airport from 12 to 3. The allegations were that only companies that paid $5,000 to join The Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance, or HTA, were given the coveted slots. Those who did not were cut out of the most lucrative market in the city for cabs.

In our earlier report, Diamond Cab owner Obaid Khan said, "We feel like you shouldn’t have to pay to play. That’s exactly what took place at the airport."

Last night, Khan addressed the Charlotte City Council about another side of the controversy. 

Charlotte Observer

There’s a phrase that now hovers over the Charlotte city government:

Pay-to-play. An arrangement where political influence is for sale. Mohamed Moustafa says he was offered the chance at pay-to-play.

"The way they did this process was 100 percent pay to play scheme."

What’s interesting about his quote is it’s from July of 2011 - 2.5 years before Patrick Cannon was arrested and resigned. That was Moustafa then. This is him now:

"What I said then in 2011, it is proved itself now in 2014. It is proved."

The City of Charlotte has announced it will withhold releasing vast amounts of public records about former mayor Patrick Cannon.

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