Former Mascotte city manager speaks to FOX 35 about arrest

A former city manager arrested for battery after a council meeting said he never touched anyone.
"I'm stunned how this argument and heated exchange could then be turned into this issue," said Jim Gleason.

The fired Mascotte leader is now talking publically for the first time about the brawl that ended with him facing felony and misdemeanor charges. 

"I relive those 10 minutes. If I hadn’t responded to the attacks and just walked out, we wouldn’t be sitting here," he said.
Here's the background on the video provided by Tempers flared inside the Mascotte City Council meeting on August 19. People called for Gleason, the city manager of nine years, to be fired.

"He needs to go. That’s the end. The man’s behavior is ridiculous. It’s been horrible here."  

Ultimately, leaders voted to end Gleason's contract.
Gleason stormed out of the meeting and the tension spilled into the parking lot. And part of it was caught on cellphone video. 

According to a police report, Gleason is accused of hitting city council member Brenda Brasher, who was mayor pro-tem at the time.

Police say Gleason called Brasher a "white trash [expletive]."

According to the police report, a witness said Gleason was poking Brasher in the shoulder and bumping her with his chest. 

Officers say Brasher’s husband, the fire chief, stepped between them. The report goes on to say Gleason screamed profanities and even threatened to go to Brasher's house. 

Gleason faces battery and disorderly conduct charges. But, he says he’s fighting those charges and says the accusations are false. 

"Yes, I said some very inappropriate and unprofessional, and I did cuss and that’s my responsibility, but never once did I touch anyone, did I batter anyone," he said.

The City of Mascotte released a statement saying, "The arrest of Mr. Gleason, our City Manager, is a serious matter for the employees, elected officials, and citizens of the City of Mascotte. It is in the best interest that this case be resolved through the criminal justice system."
Three witnesses filled out sworn statements saying they never saw Gleason touch Brasher.

His arraignment is set for next Monday.

Gleason's attorney Mark Longwell hopes to get the case dropped before then.