CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte's former mayor has been sentenced to 44 months in a federal corruption case that stunned North Carolina's largest city.
Cannon was sentenced Tuesday morning to three years and eight months in federal prison for corruption.
The defense requested that Cannon be able to report for his jail time after December 30, citing holidays, birthdays and family events. The court rejected that request, and Cannon will have to self-report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons once a facility has been designated. The defense also asked that Cannon's facility be close to Charlotte. That request was granted.
After the completion of Cannon's sentence, Judge Frank D. Whitney ordered Cannon to serve two years of supervised release.
Additionally, Cannon was ordered to pay a $10,000 find and a forfeiture in the amount of $50,500.
In a deal with prosecutors, Patrick Cannon, 47, pleaded guilty in June to one count of honest services wire fraud, which carried a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
VIDEO: RAW: Patrick Cannon after sentencing
Prosecutors had promised not to ask for a prison sentence of more than five years, but U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney was not bound by the plea agreement.
Cannon spoke during the hearing.
He said he "could physically feel the pounding of my conscience" after his arrest and he knows he "let a lot of people down."
Cannon said to the judge, "Sir, I love Charlotte."
Cannon's attorney James Ferguson said, "There was no big to-do about whether he was going to fight the charges."
Ferguson also said, "Charlotte is fortunate ... This was not evidence of some broad corruption."
"He knows he did wrong and he's very remorseful," Cannon's godmother Mildred Campbell told NBC Charlotte reporter Richard DeVayne outside the courthouse Tuesday.
Campbell said after Cannon's arrest he came to her house and cried.
Prosecutors say Cannon accepted nearly $50,000 in bribes between January 2013, when he was a city councilman, and February 2014 — three months after he was elected mayor.
"We used to call him our precious child," Cannon's former principal and family friend said during sentencing hearing.
Cannon was arrested March 26 and resigned the same day. He was recorded accepting more than $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment from FBI agents posing as real estate developers who wanted expedited permitting and zoning approvals, according to the federal criminal complaint. Cannon also was accused of soliciting up to $1 million in additional bribes from the undercover agents.
U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins has called Cannon a politician on retainer, saying he accepted a stream of cash and gifts.
By any measure, Cannon's rise was as remarkable as his downfall was swift.
Cannon was first elected to the city council in 1993 at 26, becoming the youngest member in Charlotte's history. He won the mayor's seat in November.
When he was 5, Cannon's father was found dead of a gunshot wound outside a vacant school. Cannon was raised by his mother, who worked on a truck assembly line.
They lived in public housing projects.
After high school, Cannon earned a degree in communications from North Carolina A&T State University.
As a young man, Cannon's confidence and ambition caught the attention of some of the city's biggest power brokers, including former Charlotte mayor and current Gov. Pat McCrory. Cannon used those political and social connections to build a business managing 25,000 parking spaces, most in the city's central business district.
His arrest shocked many who had worked with him and rocked a city that has prided itself on clean government.
The investigation began in 2010, when Cannon was a city councilman, after a tip from a local undercover officer about public corruption.