Politics & Government

Records show 12th District candidate troubles

Troubles with a bank, the state bar and drivers laws mark the records of three candidates in the 12th Congressional District – one of whom is running to be Charlotte’s next mayor.

Those are the results of record checks of all the candidates in the 12th District as well as those who have been mentioned as successors to Democratic Mayor Patrick Cannon, who resigned after his arrest last month on corruption charges.

Charlotte City Council members meet Monday night to choose someone to fill the remaining 15 months of Cannon’s term. James “Smuggie” Mitchell is a leading contender, even as he pursues his congressional bid.

Records show:

Marcus Brandon

Brandon, 39, has been charged in a string of driving offenses since 1994, the most recent in February.

He was found guilty of driving with a revoked license in 1997 and 2009 and charged for the same offense in 2010.

They were among two dozen violations since 1994. He was cited for failing to appear in court around 18 times.

“I am a self proclaimed horrible driver, and it’s proven,” said Brandon, a state lawmaker from High Point. “Basically, me having (Attention Deficit Disorder) I’m always late, always trying to catch up. …

“I recognize it’s a problem and I try to fix it by staying out of a car as often as I can.”

James Mitchell

The former City Council member still owes SunTrust Bank $2,300 from a judgment made during a divorce case in 2010.

He and his ex-wife Vivian saw their home off Sunset Road foreclosed on in 2011, the year the debt was first reported.

Asked about the outstanding judgment, Mitchell said, “I’m trying to make sure the person responsible for it would pay for it.”

In 2011, a district court judge awarded Mitchell temporary custody of the couple’s two children.

Curtis Osborne

Last December Osborne, a Charlotte lawyer, was censured by the N.C. State Bar for a professional conflict of interest.

The censure stemmed from his handling of a personal injury lawsuit.

According to the bar, Osborne had agreed in 2009 to represent a driver and passenger of a car hit by another vehicle. He failed to get their written consent that they understood the potential conflicts of interest resulting from representing them both.

When Osborne discovered that the driver was partially to blame for the accident, which would stop her from collecting damages, Osborne dropped her as a client. He then sued on the passenger’s behalf, naming the driver as one of the defendants.

Osborne said his mistake was failing to get the two to sign waivers.

“It was a mistake, it wont happen again,” he said. “But it shouldn’t cloud the fact that I’ve spent 15 years working and representing people in courts throughout North Carolina.”

Researcher Maria David and staff writers Ames Alexander and Michael Gordon contributed.