Politics & Government

Patrick Cannon campaign worker steps down as city of Charlotte consultant

Colleen Brannan, who handled communications for Patrick Cannon’s mayoral campaign, will terminate her recent consulting contract with the city, according to a memo sent by Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee on Friday morning.

Carlee hired Brannan as a communications consultant in March on a 10-month contract for $87,500. She was to help then-Mayor Cannon’s office with communications and also work with the city’s corporate communications department.

Cannon resigned as mayor March 26 after being arrested by the FBI in a federal corruption case.

At the time of Brannan’s hire, some council members were upset that Carlee was hiring Cannon’s campaign aide. They were also upset that Brannan would be able to keep her private PR business, Branstorm PR, which could have created a conflict of interest.

Carlee told the Observer at that time he didn’t think there would be a conflict and that Brannan would recuse herself if a problem arose.

In an email sent Friday, Carlee said Brannan was “not a patronage hire.” He said she provided important media help.

Since Brannan was hired, Carlee also hired a full-time staff person to handle communications for the mayor.

Brannan said her “past work for Patrick Cannon’s campaign won’t allow me to be successful in this role as a public relations contractor for the City. I am deeply saddened by this reality, knowing I have done nothing wrong, but believe it’s the right thing to do at this time.”

Carlee said he didn’t ask Brannan to stay. He said he agreed with her that she would be a distraction.

He said he doesn’t know whether he will hire another consultant to replace her.