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City manager charged with poking council member during fight

By AP | Aug 22, 2020

MASCOTTE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida city manager was arrested after he poked and yelled at a city council member following a vote against renewing his contract, police said.

Mascotte City Manager Jim Gleason, 62, was charged Thursday with felony battery and misdemeanor disorderly conduct, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Gleason’s attorney, Mark Longwell, said his client is not guilty and that Gleason’s political rivals are making false accusations.

Police responded to an argument outside the Mascotte Civic Center shortly after Wednesday’s city council meeting. Gleason was fighting with Mayor Pro Tem Brenda Brasher and her husband, Mascotte Fire Chief Randy Brasher, according to an arrest affidavit.

Gleason was angry the council, including Brenda Brasher, had voted against renewing his three-year contract, which ended June 17, city records show. Witnesses told police Gleason began aggressively poking Brasher on the shoulder, bumping her with his chest and screaming profanities at her.

Brasher’s husband stepped in between the two, and nearby witnesses escorted the couple inside the building. Police said Gleason had to be removed to stop him from following the Brashers into the civic center.

Dolly Miller has been named the acting city manager.

Gleason was released from the Lake County jail several hours after his arrest on $2,500 bail. Mascotte is located west of Orlando.