CREATED Nov. 9, 2012
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Tonight, a Lee County Commissioner cited for his involvement in a drug arrest, is going on camera for the first time to tell his side of the story...exclusively to Fox 4. Commissioner Brian Bigelow claims he's innocent and the Lee County Sheriff's Office is mischaracterizing what really happened.
Four in your Corner investigator Mike Mason caught up with Bigelow today and has the story.
Bigelow says there's much more to this story and tonight....you're hearing it straight from the commissioner himself. We caught up with Brian Bigelow on his way to Starbucks today.
Brian Bigelow: "You know, I do, I wanted to get some caffeine."
On Wednesday....a deputy says Bigelow and his friend may have been trying to get something a little stronger. That friend is 19-year old David Henley. Officers arrested him after he drove Bigelow's rental car without a license. The deputy claims the two "Pulled into the driveway of a known drug house" and Henley later admitted, "We went to that house so I can buy the weed." The deputy reports Hensley had a nickel bag of marijuana and he was then handcuffed.
But Bigelow claims the only reason he went to that home was because of his puppy.
Brian Bigelow: "I was there to show my puppy, who is 4 months old, to her breeder who she, the breeder, had not seen for several months."
Mike Mason: "So the breeder lives there?"
Brian Bigelow: "The breeder lives there and that was my sole purpose for being there."
Bigelow says he shot a photo showing the breeder at his car ....just moments before an officer pulled them over.
Mike Mason: "You didn't know it was a drug house?"
Brian Bigelow: "No known information to me at all."
But Bigelow says he did nothing wrong and suggested this may be about politics. In a written statement he said he has: "very public differences of opinions with the arresting officer's "boss man".
Mike Mason: "What do you mean by 'boss man'?"
Brian Bigelow: "Um, boss man is a comment overheard by my friend in the car....by the arresting officer over his cell phone with someone. I suspect that ‘boss man’ may be as high up as the Sheriff himself."
Mike Mason: "Mike Scott?"
Brian Bigelow: "Yes, absolutely."
Bigelow claims deputies ignored key facts in the case....likely because he and Sheriff Mike Scott don't get along.
Brian Bigelow: "It no longer became a routine traffic stop, in my humble opinion, when my identity and my position in county government was known."
The report states, when Henley was taken to jail, deputies also found a small bag of cocaine. According to reports, Henley then told officers, "Bigelow used cocaine on a regular basis".
Brian Bigelow: "That is not true."
Bigelow admits he once had a drug and alcohol problem but went to rehab.
Brian Bigelow: "I entered treatment in 1990, December 12th of '90, I exited January 8th of '91.”
Mike Mason: "So you're sober now?"
Brian Bigelow: "Yes, yes thank you I appreciate the question, I do."
Mike Mason: "How does this feel going through all of this?”
Brian Bigelow: "It's difficult, very difficult."
Sheriff Mike Scott says the facts of the case speak for themself. Bigelow was cited for allowing an unauthorized person to drive his car. ....he's set to appear in court later this month.