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Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow
Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow / News-press.com file photo

Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow will appear in court Nov. 26, where he will fight the citation filed against him Wednesday.

Bigelow received a criminal citation for allegedly allowing someone without a license to drive his rental car. The offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, for which Bigelow could potentially pay a $500 fine and spend up to 60 days in jail.

Bigelow will enter a plea of not guilty during his arraignment later this month, according to his attorney, Mark Ringsmuth.

“The next step is he’s going to let the legal system run its course,” Ringsmuth said, “and avail himself of his rights.”

Ringsmuth declined to speculate on the likely outcome of his client’s case.

“Everybody has the right to enter a not guilty plea in an arraignment,” he said. “The state has got the burden to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

2 p.m. update

After remaining quiet for more than a day, Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow said he plans to set the record straight about the traffic stop in which deputies found drugs in his rental car.

“I do think there are facts that need to be straightened out,” he said today in a phone interview with The News-Press. “ Or there are statements that need to be straightened out as to whether or not they’re true.”

Earlier today, Bigelow alleged the deputy involved in the traffic top reported false, incriminating information, possibly prompted by past animosity between Bigelow and Sheriff Mike Scott.

“I wish, I wish, I wish I could make a comment about that,” Bigelow told The News-Press today. “The question for myself is does this dig a hole and if so, how deep. And by digging a hole, I mean is it contrary to my better interest as far as being vindicated.”

Bigelow has hired a lawyer, with whom he will consult before taking further action or answering more questions.

Bigelow was a passenger in a car pulled over Wednesday afternoon in the Tice neighborhood. The driver, 19-year-old David Alexander Henley, was arrested on drug charges and for driving without a license after Lee County Sheriff’s deputies found marijuana and cocaine on him.

Bigelow was cited for allowing an unlicensed driver behind the wheel of his car.

Deputies also found small amounts of what could have been marijuana throughout the vehicle, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report. The substance did not test positive for marijuana, possibly because of the small amount.

According to the sheriff’s office report, Henley told deputies the two bought marijuana before they were pulled over, and that Bigelow uses cocaine on a regular basis.

Earlier today, Bigelow denied the statements and alleged the deputy falsely reported what Henley said.

When asked if any of the illegal drugs in the car belonged to him, Bigelow replied, “Absolutely not.”

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