Charges dropped against Mascotte city manager after incident at city council meeting

Jim Gleason won’t face battery, disorderly conduct charges

James Gleason (Lake County Jail)

MASCOTTE, Fla.UPDATE: Prosecutors in early November decided not to pursue charges against former Mascotte city manager Jim Gleason.

Original story below:

A contentious city council meeting in which the Mascotte city manager did not have his contract renewed ended with him chest bumping a councilwoman and calling her a “white trash (expletive),” according to the Mascotte Police Department.

Police said the altercation took place Wednesday night outside the Mascotte Civic Center after council members voted to not reinstate Jim Gleason’s contract as city manager.

Records show Gleason was visibly upset and took his anger out on the councilwoman by yelling at her, threatening her, “poking her on her shoulder in an aggressive manner,” calling her a “white trash (expletive)” and bumping her with his chest while screaming profanities at her.

The victim’s husband had to step in to stop the altercation and then as he and Gleason were chest to chest, witnesses stepped in and pulled the victim and her husband, who is the city fire chief, into the civic center to stop the situation from escalating any further, according to the affidavit.

From there, police said Gleason “tried to re-engage by walking forward as if to charge into the civic center while screaming profanities and threatening to go to the victim’s house.”

The commotion caused several bystanders to curse and yell and caused city employees who were in the area to express that they were fearful about returning to work alongside Gleason, the report said.

Gleason was arrested in Clermont on Thursday on charges of battery and disorderly conduct.

His attorney, Mark Longwell, released the following statement:

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Gleason’s political and professional rivals have chosen to make a false allegation over what was nothing more than a regrettable emotional verbal confrontation. Mr. Gleason takes great comfort in the knowledge that through the judicial process the truth of his innocence will be revealed, and he will be exonerated. Accordingly, Mr. Gleason has filed a plea of not guilty and he has requested a jury trial.”