LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Commissioner Brian Bigelow has issued a statement in response to recent allegations that he was seen leaving a suspected drug house. He was ticketed for permitting an unlicensed operator to drive a car, but the driver was arrested on drug charges.
Here's what Bigelow had to say:
"I, Andrew Brian Bigelow, was issued a traffic citation on November 7, 2012 for permitting an unlicensed operator to drive a car; a second degree misdemeanor. After a lengthy detention and exhaustive search of my person and rental car, I was given the ticket and allowed to drive the vehicle away.
I will put my faith in the legal system because there has been an effort to mischaracterize the events of that day and find me guilty of criminal acts merely by association. Those are false implications and I am confident that the truth will prevail, but must await my day in court.
We would all like to believe that if any one of us were to be pulled over by a sworn officer of the law, any statements in that report which is entirely authored by one person – the officer, would all be true and not false statements. This simply is impossible as we are all human beings subject to our own motives and desires, thus we have a justice system in this country that requires an impartial judgment of any allegations be made by a court of law, and not by the officer acting alone or in concert with his ranking officers, elected or otherwise.
Within a very short time after my rental vehicle was pulled over, my position within county government was brought to Sheriff Mike Scott’s deputy’s attention, after which at least 10 or more Sheriff Office Department employees then arrived on scene. At that time, it became clear to me that this would not likely be handled as a routine allegation of a traffic offense.
And, in fact, it was not.
Despite the fact that Sheriff Scott’s deputy pulled the car over for an allegation of running a stop sign, the driver of the vehicle was not cited for such offense. And, despite the officer claiming to have witnessed the odor of an illegal mood/mind altering substance and having been told of the presence of such substances by the driver of the car, 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.
These allegations were not the basis for pulling over my vehicle, but rather were introduced into Mr. Scott’s deputy’s report despite the fact that Sheriff Scott’s deputy and supervising sergeant were provided many chances to witness evidence of the purpose of those events, all of which were perfectly legal activities. And yet, Mr. Scott’s deputy and supervising sergeant both ignored and refused to hear about or be shown physical evidence of those legal events. Sheriff Mike Scott’s deputy and sergeant stand behind their allegations that my rental car was being used to commit illegal activities, I however do not!! Furthermore, once the truth is allowed to be demonstrated in a court of law, it is my strong belief that the judicial system will not uphold those statements as being truthful.
Statements alleged to have been made by my friend about the events alleged by Mr. Scott’s deputy and sergeant about those activities along with allegations of my use of illegal substances are simply not true and to my knowledge were simply not made by my friend. But, we can all still hope that when we encounter a sworn officer of the law, that he or she will stick with the facts and only the facts, but that can not always be the case; especially if we have very public differences of opinion with the arresting officer’s “boss man”. And, for that unfortunate fact of life, we have a justice system that we must hope and pray will not find such false allegations of criminal activity to be true, when they are not in fact true.
I intend to exercise ALL MY RIGHTS granted me under the United States Constitution."