Published: Dec 27, 2013 12:05 PM EST
Updated: Dec 27, 2013 6:22 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla --- WINK News has learned, deputies say Charles Lawson admitted to drinking when he was arrested on Christmas 

According to his arrest report, 56 year old Charles Lawson pulled up to the scene.
Driving a car, with damage FHP troopers say was consistent to the crash that killed Michael Sasen.

The deputy who stopped him said Lawson was unsteady on his feet, and could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from lawson's mouth when he spoke. The deputy then stated Lawson spontaneously uttered the words "I've been drinking."

Lawson refused to take a breathalyzer, and was arrested at the scene.

Lawson is an investigator with the State Attorney's Office.
Before that, he worked with FMPD for 25 years.

WINK news took a look into his personnel file, and found only one infraction, in an otherwise stellar record.

We found a letter of reprimand from July 1999, involving a police chase and armed robbery suspect.

Lawson ".....allegedly participated in a vehicle pursuit while operating an unmarked vehicle."

"He then pursued the vehicle on the wrong side of the roadway."

*But* two officers at the scene came to his defense saying, "if not for Lawson, a violent forcible felon would still be roaming the streets of the city."

The rest of his file had nothing but high praises, letter after letter of commendation, and even an officer of the month nomination.

He had not been in trouble with the law before.

Meanwhile, the State Attorney's Office also told us today the governor granted its request to move the case, to another district, to avoid a conflict of interest.

WINK News just got a copy of the State Attorney's office policy on driving state vehicles.
We read through the 5-page policy and found, it says the use of state vehicles is for official business only.
We checked, and the SAO says they don't know where Lawson was driving to or from at the time of the crash.
But anyone assigned a state car is on call 24 hours a day.
Also in the state's policy:
It says if the driver of a state car is in a traffic crash and is at fault...
The SAO will assume responsibility.


LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Florida Highway Patrol finished re-canvasing the scene of a Christmas morning deadly hit and run. The suspect in that case is a Fort Myers investigator. He was arrested for a DUI that same night.

As the family waits for answers, they say they've started planning to honor Michael Sasen.

Michael's ex-wife, Christine, told WINK News they are planning to bring Sasen's body back to Springfield, Massachusetts over the weekend. They don't yet know what condition his body is in, so they say that has presented some problems with planning his funeral.

Along with their questions, it looks like FHP still has some of their own. WINK News was there as they were back at the scene of the crime, at the intersection of McGregor and Kasamada.

An officer said in these types of complicated cases, it's important to come back and check periodically to make sure they didn't miss something the first time around.

The suspect in the case is Charles Lawson, an investigator with the State Attorney's Office. Again, he is only a suspect, but was arrested for a DUI charge that same night. He had his first appearance in court yesterday, and has been suspended with pay from his job.

WINK News looked into his past and found he worked with the Fort Myers Police Department for 25 years.

Lawson was driving a car that had damage consistent to a crash. That car was government-issued, as investigators are on call 24/7. Governor Scott has agreed to assign the case to another jurisdiction.  

Lawson's ex-wife told us he has never had a problem with alcoholism. Lawson has been released on bond, but as a condition, cannot touch alcohol or drugs.