Two days before Christmas, county employees found a “leafy, green, plant-like material” believed to be marijuana in a county-owned pickup truck issued to Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine. Nodine has been to Pensacola several times touting his city’s bid for the air tanker contract and appeared last June with Commissioner Gene Valentino at a BOCC workshop to support Valentino’s economic development authority.
The discovery has given Mobile something to talk about other than the upcoming Mardi Gras. At a press conference, Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran said Nodine took the vehicle to the county’s garage on Virginia Street for routine maintenance Wednesday morning. A county employee saw the substance and notified sheriff’s officials. The substance has been turned over to the state lab for analysis.
In a statement prepared by his Mobile PR firm, Strategy Public Relations, Nodine denied the pot as his: “The county vehicle was not in my possession and has been at the motor pool all morning for service. I want to be clear that I did not possess marijuana, nor use any marijuana, found in this vehicle. Since first being notified, I have been and will continue to fully cooperate with the sheriff’s investigation.”
The Mobile Press Register has called for an independent investigation: Independence key in Nodine probe.