CREATED Nov. 8, 2012 - UPDATED: Nov. 8, 2012
LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Tonight, a Lee County Commissioner cited for his involvement in a drug arrest... talking first to Fox-4. For the first time since the incident, Commissioner Brian Bigelow is firing back, claiming he's innocent and the Lee County Sheriff's Office is mischaracterizing what really happened.
Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is live in the newsroom with what Bigelow has to say.
Bigelow sent us a written statement; his side of the story. He claims deputies ignored key facts in the case and he wants it to be known that he and Sheriff Mike Scott don't exactly see eye to eye.
For the past 6 years, Brian Bigelow has been known as the most outspoken and animated commissioner in Lee County. And for that reason, he feels he was targeted by a Lee County deputy after a drug related "run-in" with the law Wednesday afternoon.
In a written statement Bigelow tells Fox-4 he has: "Very public differences of opinions with the arresting officer's “boss man"....who is Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott.
According to a deputy’s report, Bigelow allowed 19-year old David Henley to drive his car without a license and the two "pulled into the driveway of a known drug house" in the Tice section of Fort Myers.
The deputy says when the two drove off they failed to stop at a stop sign and were pulled over.
That's when the deputy says he "Immediately smelt an odor of burnt marijuana" coming from the car. Bigelow contends “Mr. Scott’s deputy did not perform a field sobriety test upon the driver of the vehicle. Instead, allegations of illegal activity PRIOR to Mr. Scott’s deputy pulling over the vehicle were reported including claims that he witnessed illegal activity involving the occupants of my vehicle.”
The report states Henley told the deputy, "I have a ‘nic’ bag in my pants" which tested positive for marijuana. Henley was handcuffed and the deputy says, "Bigelow began to act extremely nervous. His hands began to shake noticeably and he began to sweat a lot."
Bigelow says: "There has been an effort to mischaracterize the events of that day and find me guilty of criminal acts merely by association. These are false implications."
Deputies also report finding a "Green leafy substance" in a zip lock bag inside the car door.....but when tested that substance had "a negative response for THC".
After arresting Henley, the report states they found he had a small bag of cocaine wrapped in a $20 bill. According to reports, Henley then told an officer, "Bigelow used cocaine on a regular basis".
Bigelow contends: "Allegations of my use of illegal substances are simply not true and to my knowledge were simply not made by my friend."
Late tonight we emailed Sheriff Mike Scott for his reaction and we'll contact him again tomorrow.
Meanwhile.....Bigelow was cited for allowing an unauthorized person to drive a motor vehicle. ....he's set to appear in court later this month. To read his full statement click on the Big Red 4.