BY NORM D. GUERRE OCT. 14, 2014
CHARLOTTE – On Tuesday afternoon, Judge Frank Whitney of the Western District of North Carolina passed down what many saw as a uniquely harsh judgment on former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon. The sentence, regarded as extraordinarily punitive but fair by judicial analysts, was for Cannon to serve five consecutive terms as mayor of Cary, North Carolina.
When Cannon first entered the court room on this unseasonably drizzly day, he swaggered to his seat with the confidence of a celebrity. The court room was packed from wall to wall with reporters from the Charlotte Observer, the News & Observer, Creative Loafing, and Ungrammared. Also in attendance were local politicos, well wishers, curious onlookers, and several members of professional sports teams around Charlotte (presumably for a later trial).
Cannon grinned and waved to onlookers as he made his way to his seat. “Thank you for coming! It’s good to see you!” Cannon was heard saying to a large man in a suit with a blue and silver tie who would later only give his name as “Kracken.” As Judge Frank Whitney entered the court room, Cannon respectfully rose and buttoned his jacket.
After some brief introductory remarks were made, Judge Whitney stated, “In light of your blatant disregard and disrespect for the honor of your elected position, I hereby sentence you to five consecutive terms as Mayor of Cary, North Carolina, to be served back-to-back. May God have mercy on your soul.”
Cannon looked ashen and glanced down, fidgeting with his hands. On his way out of the courtroom he managed a weak smile to reporters and well-wishers. Cannon then made his way to the steps of the courthouse to address the throng of media gathered to document his remarks.
“Well, I can only say that the sentence has been fair in light of my mistakes. Five terms in Cary? I’ll be 57 by the time I’m done. The only silver lining I can foresee is that Cary has a lot of capital and potential investors. Maybe I’ll be able to get HERS up and running while I’m doing my time,” Cannon remarked, referring to the feminine hygiene product he tried to create using mayoral bribery dollars.
Cary had absolutely no comment on its subjugation being seen as a punishment for an elected official, the first in Cary’s history. Cary’s legacy stretches all the way back to 1854, although the town apparently remained undiscovered until about 1976. Still unknown is how Cannon will treat the town’s rich historic color palette of brown, taupe, tan, and sand. Also a mystery is whether Cannon will continue Cary’s honored legacy of making every road go in an oval so as to confuse any out-of-town visitor from superior cities who have the sense to put their streets in a grid.
“I guess I’ll get used to eating in high-end chain restaurants,” sighed Cannon. “Who knows?” he said. “Maybe I can make a positive impact, since there’s no way to go but up. Perhaps I can even change Cary High’s school colors as mayor. They’d look great in orange. AMIRIGHT?”