CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A long-time city council member and friend of Patrick Cannon, James Mitchell says he supports his fraternity member and is shocked by the allegations.

They've known each other a long time. The two have been friends since 1989 when James Mitchell first helped Cannon with his city council campaign.

Mitchell spoke to NBC Charlotte at his congressional campaign headquarters Wednesday evening.

Reminiscing about when he first became a city council member, Mitchell said, When I got elected, Patrick was like a mentor to me. So I know where his heart is. His heart is to represent Charlotte and to be a great leader.

NBC spoke to the former councilman before he'd read the federal affidavit

He's my fraternity brother, so this kind of hurts. For those who really know Patrick, this hurts. I am still a big fan... those who know him are gonna support him.

Still, he admits, this is tough to hear about his friend and mentor. The same man he campaigned for, after losing to him in last year s mayoral election.

He was raised by Charlotte. Charlotte developed a great public servant... we raised him up, so I think for all of us, it hurts.

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