Parts I and 2: The 'downward spiral of failing leadership'

  • Blog Post by: Howard Sinker
  • November 8, 2012 - 1:08 PM

It has not been a good week for Lee County, Fla., commissioner Brian Bigelow.

On Tuesday, he made a show of not attending the meeting at which his colleagues voted to spend $42.5 million to upgrade and make additions to the Twins' spring training facilities in Fort Myers.

The Fort Myers News-Press reported that Bigelow sent an email to his colleagues that stated: “The dysfunctional state of our county government and its downward spiral of failing leadership from the body upon which we have each been elected to serve upon is of grave concern for me. My best wishes to you in your deliberations this morning, I will take a sick day rightfully granted to me for such purposes.”

The deal passed on a 3-1 vote, with one of the commissioners voting no because she doesn't like that it contained $7.2 million for a housing facility for the team's minor-leaguers.

Needless to say, Upload was intrigued when it saw this tweet:

The tweet wasn't quite right in that Bigelow simply didn't bother to show up instead of voting no, but let's not let that ruin our story.

On Wednesday, Bigelow was arrested after a county sheriff's deputy stopped a car in which Bigelow was a passenger when he saw the car fail go through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop. Previously, the deputy had seen the car pull into a driveway on a Fort Myers street with a reputation for drug transactions, according to the News-Press.

Bigelow said it was his car, but he was letting an 18-year-old companion drive it "because he had to text," according to news report. The teenager had told Bigelow that he didn't have a license.

When the deputy pulled over the car, he smelled marijuana and said he was searching it. The News-Press reported that Bigelow told the deputy: "This is my vehicle and you don’t have probable cause to search the vehicle.”

The deputy pointed out that an odor of marijuana was probable cause for a drug search.

Here's the full story, which has an assortment of unsavory allegations.

The teenager was charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine, and driving without a license; Bigelow was charged with allowing an unauthorized person to drive his car.

With all due respect for the concept of being innocent until proven guilty, Upload sees yet another example here of the downward spiral of failing leadership.




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