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Cannon’s attorney James Ferguson did not return repeated telephone calls Thursday.

Cannon, a longtime radio show host and the founder of E-Z Parking, replaced former Mayor Anthony Foxx, who was named Transportation Secretary by Obama.

Friends said Cannon was driven to be successful.

When Cannon was 5, his father was found dead of a gunshot wound. He was raised by his mother, Carmen, who worked on a truck assembly line.

After graduating from South Mecklenburg High, he earned a degree in communications with a minor in marketing from historically black North Carolina A&T; State University in Greensboro.

McCrory’s older brother Phil McCrory mentored Cannon in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

In an interview during the mayor’s race, Cannon said he held a number of jobs after graduating college. But his life changed when he received a call in 1996 from Hugh McColl, who was chief executive of the company that would become Bank of America.

Cannon said McColl asked him for the names of minority vendors in areas such as security and parking management. Cannon said he researched the parking industry, then called McColl for help starting his own parking company. E-Z Parking now manages 25,000 spaces for businesses - many in the central business district the city calls Uptown.

Whatever Cannon’s fate, Helms said Charlotte will need time to restore its image.

“We have always taken a great pride in the image of Charlotte as a leading New South city. We have big egos. We’d like to think we are No. 1, and we’ve always prided ourselves on having good, clean government,” Helms said. “And the charges that have now been brought against the mayor have sullied that reputation and have, I think, created an image that will be difficult to clear up in the short term.”