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North Carolina lawmaker tapped to replace mayor charged with bribery

By Colleen Jenkins

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - A North Carolina legislator has been appointed to serve as mayor of the state's largest city of Charlotte two weeks after the previous mayor resigned following his arrest on corruption charges that included accepting bribes.

State Senator Dan Clodfelter will be sworn in on Wednesday. Charlotte hosted the 2012 Democratic Party National Convention.

The city council chose Clodfelter, 63, on Monday night to complete the two-year term of former mayor Patrick Cannon, charged by U.S. prosecutors in March of taking more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as commercial real estate developers and investors wanting to do business in the city.

Cannon, a Democrat who was elected as mayor in November and previously served on the city council, also accepted a trip to Las Vegas and use of a luxury apartment in Charlotte, prosecutors said. He waived a preliminary hearing and remains free on bond.

Clodfelter, also a Democrat, will finish the term that ends in December 2015 and becomes the city's fourth mayor in a year.

Another former mayor, Anthony Foxx, resigned last year after being tapped by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Transportation Department. The city council then selected one of its members to finish Foxx's term before Cannon's election.

The city said Clodfelter would resign from his seat in the state Senate, where he has served since 1999. A Rhodes Scholar with a law degree from Yale University, he sat on the Charlotte City Council from 1987 to 1993 and still practices law at a private firm in the city.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)

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