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Charges: Farmington councilman used flashing lights to pull drivers over

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A Farmington City Council member is facing charges of impersonating a police officer after using red and blue flashing lights installed in his car to pull over other drivers.

FOX 9 reports a siren and PA box similar to those used by police were also found in a car belonging to 41-year-old Jason Bartholomay after Apple Valley police received a report of a suspicious vehicle pulling cars over on Cedar Avenue on Oct. 26.

When they pulled him over, the councilman denied knowledge of having flashing lights, but an officer noticed a box in his car and when he told him to press the button, the lights started flashing at the rear of his vehicle.

The Star Tribune reports that he has been cited with one count of impersonating an officer and three counts of prohibited use of colored and flashing lights on his vehicle.

Bartholomay, who is a therapist, also told police that he uses the lights when responding to "suicidal situations," the newspaper notes.

The Sun This Week spoke with Bartholomay's attorney, Hillary Parsons, who said she believes the charges are a mistake.

"There’s no denying he had these lights, but there was no intent to impersonate a police officer," she said. "This has been blown incredibly out of proportion. He’s a licensed therapist and an avid volunteer."

According to his website, Bartholomay is a Marine Corps. veteran and a St. Cloud State University alumnus.

The Farmington Independent notes he has an arraignment scheduled for Dec. 10.

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