National roundup: Charlotte mayor arrested; Mich. won’t recognize same-sex marriages

March 26, 2014
NORTH CAROLINA
Mayor of Charlotte took bribes, FBI says

After less than six months on the job, the mayor of Charlotte was arrested Wednesday and accused of accepting more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do work in North Carolina’s largest city.

Mayor Patrick Cannon, a 47-year-old Democrat who rose from the city’s public housing projects to become a successful businessman and politician, faces federal theft and bribery charges. If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.

Cannon, a longtime radio show host and the founder of a parking management company, was elected mayor in November, replacing Anthony Foxx, who was named transportation secretary by President Obama.

— Associated Press

MICHIGAN
State won’t recognize same-sex marriages

Michigan won’t recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed last weekend before a court blocked a decision that opened the door to gay nuptials, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said Wednesday.

The announcement came a day after an appeals court indefinitely stopped any additional same-sex marriages.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the gay marriage ban Friday. Four counties began granting licenses Saturday before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a temporary halt. On Tuesday, the stay was extended indefinitely.

— Associated Press

Okla. execution law ruled unconstitutional: An Oklahoma judge ruled the state’s execution law unconstitutional Wednesday because its privacy provision is so strict that it prevents inmates from finding out the source of drugs used in executions, even through the courts. After condemned inmates gasped or complained they were “burning” during executions in January, inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner asked Oklahoma prison officials for information on the drugs. However, under state law, no one is allowed to disclose the source of drugs used in a ­lethal injection — even if an inmate sues and seeks the information as part of the discovery process. Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said that prevents the inmates from exercising constitutional rights.

Chicago train operator dozed off: The operator of a Chicago commuter train that crashed at O’Hare International Airport acknowledged she dozed off before the accident and told investigators she had fallen asleep at the controls one other time recently, a federal investigator said Wednesday. The accident at 3 a.m. Monday injured more than 30 people.

Calif. senator arrested: California state Sen. Leland Yee (D) and a onetime gang leader, Raymond Chow, were arrested Wednesday during FBI raids in Sacramento and the San Francisco area, authorities said. An FBI spokesman declined to discuss the charges.

— From news services

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