Court documents were filed today in Butte District Court accusing a local Justice of the Peace with driving under the influence of methodone, a narcotic.
In an affidavit, the State alleges that on November 13, 2010, Judge Robert E. Lee drove his vehicle to the courthouse while under the influence of methadone. Methadone is used to relieve pain or to prevent withdrawal symptoms from drug addiction.
In court documents, police officers report hearing Lee banging on the lobby window that morning. Officers say Lee told them he needed to be let into the courthouse to perform a wedding.
He allegedly appeared to be very confused, had trouble walking and was sweating profusely. During the investigation, he reportedly admitted to officers that he had driven to the courthouse.
After initially denying that he was on medication, he later admitted to officers that he was on the pain medication lorazepam. In court documents Lee's wife states that Lee was taking lorazepam to get off of methadone.
Lee later reportedly admitted taking methadone that morning and agreed to give a blood sample. The results confirmed the presence of the narcotic methadone and an antihistamine known as diphenhydramine, used in products such as Benadryl.
After receiving permission from Lee, officers searched his vehicle and reportedly found a methadone tablet. At his home officers were shown an empty bottle of Methodone issued to Lee on Nov. 4 for 60 tablets, nine days before the incident.
If convicted Lee faces a maximum six month sentence and a maximum fine of $1,000.
An Assistant Attorney General is serving as Special Deputy County Attorney in this case. The court documents were signed by District Judge Loran Tucker.
Lee told KXLF-TV today that he is confident he will be vindicated. Also, since the charge is a misdemeanor he will be allowed to remain on the bench.
Local prosecutors and judges declined to handle the case because they know Lee.