Federal grand jury meets; Cannon not indicted

Federal grand jury meets; Cannon not indicted

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 9 at 6:00 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A federal grand jury met in Charlotte Wednesday, but apparently took no action against former Mayor Patrick Cannon.

It was two weeks ago that Cannon was arrested by the FBI on political corruption charges.

Within hours of his arrest and release on bond, Cannon resigned the mayoral office.

While grand jury proceedings are mostly secret, legal experts like criminal defense attorney Melissa Owen say some conclusions can be drawn from the fact that there has been no indictment of Cannon on those federal charges.

"I think it is a reasonable question right now as to what discussions are going on," said Owen.

After his arrest, Cannon's attorney waived his right to a preliminary court appearance.

That means the U.S. Attorney's Office was no longer facing a 30-day deadline to indict Cannon under the speedy trial rule.

Owen said that move also clears the way for prosecutors to open plea negotiations with Cannon while at the same time, shoring up their case.

"Are there other people who are coming in to talk to the U.S. Attorney’s office to provide new information, corroborating the information that the FBI already has?” wondered Owen.

Owen says it is possible that some information could come from the man at the center of all this.

"Is Patrick Cannon interested in providing information in his own right?" she asked.

Short of a plea or some other resolution, the grand jury will meet again next week

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