FARMINGTON, Minn. (KMSP) - According to his attorney, Farmington City Council member Jason Bartholomay entered a guilty plea Monday to 2 counts of having prohibited lights on his vehicle. The petty misdemeanors carry a total fine of $120. Bartholomay's misdemeanor charge of impersonating an officer will be dismissed in 9 months if he stays crime free.
Bartholomay intends to provide an update to the community at his next city council meeting on March 21.
Last November, Bartholomay was charged with one misdemeanor count of impersonating a police officer. According to court documents, Apple Valley police pulled over Bartholomay after a motorist complained he was driving around with what appeared to be flashing lights installed in his vehicle.
Other motorists allegedly slowed down and pulled over for Bartholomay as he traveled south on Cedar Avenue.
When asked why he had the lights, Bartholomay allegedly responded he was a chaplain with the Minneapolis and University of Minnesota Police Departments and used them when responding to suicide calls. However, both departments told investigators his story was not true.
“Under no circumstance did I do anything to impersonate a police officer,” Bartholomay said at a city council meeting after the charges. “I expect to be acquitted of that charge. However, due to the court process, justice can take time. Under the laws of Minnesota and the United States; I am innocent until proven guilty. And I will not be resigning my position as city council member.”
Bartholomay’s attorney had told Fox 9 the charges are a misunderstanding. He said Bartholomay is a licensed psychotherapist who often responds to emergency calls and purchased the flashing lights to protect his vehicle when it is parked along the side of the road.