Summary:

Paragraph three reads:  "But state police were called to the scene after witnesses reported Lowe was stumbling and his speech was slurred. He was cited to appear in court for suspected driving under the influence of drugs."

Paragraph seven reads:  "Court records say Lowe admitted he had taken high blood pressure drugs on the day of the fender bender. But police say lab tests revealed Lowe also had three powerful pain killers and three powerful anti-depressants in his system that day."

Paragraph nine reads:  "But his lawyer declined comment on 4 new criminal charges filed against the chief last week for embezzlement, neglect of duty, and two counts of prescription fraud."


http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=10880053


Vergennes Police Chief in court facing the first of multiple charges

The Police Chief in the Addison County city of Vergennes was in court today facing the first of multiple charges stemming from alleged drug abuse.

This scrape on the unmarked cruiser of Vergennes Police Chef Mike Lowe was barely noticeable after he tapped a parked car two months ago.

But state police were called to the scene after witnesses reported Lowe was stumbling and his speech was slurred. He was cited to appear in court for suspected driving under the influence of drugs.

Rick Goldsborough, Defense Attorney told the judge: "And enter a not guilty plea."

Lowe's lawyer denied the DUI - drugs charge on the Chief's behalf. Lowe was not present because the judge approved chief's absence after his lawyer offered an explanation.

"It's going to be no secret in this case judge that my client has undergone substance abuse treatment at a rehabilitation center in Florida and he's still undergoing that treatment." says Goldsborough.

Court records say Lowe admitted he had taken high blood pressure drugs on the day of the fender bender. But police say lab tests revealed Lowe also had three powerful pain killers and three powerful anti-depressants in his system that day.

Rick Goldsborough/Defense Attorney:"My understanding is that he's had cervical neck surgeries and thereafter had several prescribed medications following the surgery for pain."

But his lawyer declined comment on 4 new criminal charges filed against the chief last week for embezzlement, neglect of duty, and two counts of prescription fraud.

Details about those charges will not be made public until Lowe's scheduled arraignment in two weeks.

Longtime Vergennes residents we spoke with say they are supporting the chief -- with conditions.

Colleen Michael told us: "I think that if he is guilty of it he should pay. But if he's not guilty of it then I feel bad for him."

Stanley Hotte said: "I like him I hope none of this is true. And if it is, then do the crime, do the time."

and Kim Philbrook said:"I like him as a person and I've dealt with him as an officer and I just hope that whatever happens his career is not going to be ruined from this."

The city manager says that for now Chief Mike Lowe remains on paid administrative leave pending a disciplinary hearing next week by the city council. And Lowe is due back in court the next week on August 24th on all those other charges.

Brian Joyce - WCAX