Patrick Cannon

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."

Tom Bullock

 Less than two months after officially filing to run for Congress, former Charlotte city councilman James "Smuggie" Mitchell says he is no longer a candidate for the 12th congressional district seat.

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

This week, the WFAE Talks crew discusses stories making news that concern city politics, the environment and education.

Greg, Lisa and Ben discuss initial impressions of Mayor Dan Clodfelter, and public records related to former Mayor Patrick Cannon that won't be released for at least 60 days. Also on this week's podcast: Public outcry prompts Duke Energy to suspend a program in which tree roots were being injected with a chemical to stunt growth, and observations from a 3rd-grade class trying to meet the state's new reading requirement.

David T. Foster, III - / Charlotte Observer

Later today, Democratic State Senator Dan Clodfelter will resign the seat he’s held for 8 terms so he can become the next Mayor of Charlotte. Last night, Clodfelter was appointed by the City Council to serve what remains of Patrick Cannon’s term.

Tom Bullock steps in for Ben Bradford on this week's show. Greg, Lisa and Tom discuss the race for Charlotte mayor and Patrick Cannon's recognition on the The Daily Show. Plus, the production assist that some candidates are giving third-party interest groups, and a charter school in Charlotte that shuts down before the school year ends.

Tasnim Shamma

The race for the next Mayor of Charlotte will be decided by 11 votes. No the fix is not in for our next election. Only members of the city council will be able to vote for the person who will fill out Patrick Cannon’s term. That vote is expected on Monday.

Tasnim Shamma

For three years, taxi companies that lost access to Charlotte Douglas International Airport have said the public selection process was rigged. 

Now, in the wake of former Mayor Patrick Cannon’s arrest last week on corruption charges, two owners of cab companies have told the Observer they were offered a chance to buy their way back into the airport.One cab company owner said he was approached in 2011 by a man who called himself an associate of Cannon with a proposition: Give me $10,000 in cash for Cannon’s campaign and reclaim your business at Charlotte Douglas. A second taxicab owner recounted a similar story about being approached by the man, who solicited $10,000 for City Council members, including Cannon, in exchange for airport business.