Despite the fact that Richland County, SC sheriff Leon Lott found enough evidence to arrest 8 “regular folk” on various charges stemming from that infamous photo of Michael Phelps puffin’ on that big-ass marijuana bong, he has NOT deemed it necessary to arrest and charge Michael Phelps with any crime whatsoever … even tho PHELPS IS THE ONE PHOTOGRAPHED with DRUG PARAPHERNALIA in hand and it was HIS PHOTO that caused this scandal to erupt in the first place:
A South Carolina sheriff said Monday he was not going to charge swimmer Michael Phelps after a photo of the 14-time gold medalist showed him smoking from a marijuana pipe. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he couldn’t ignore the photo but defended his investigation. “Michael Phelps is truly an American hero … but even with his star status, he is still obligated to obey the laws of our state,” Lott said. The photo showed Phelps smoking from a marijuana pipe at a party in November when he visited the University of South Carolina. Phelps has called his judgment bad and said he would learn from his mistake. USA Swimming suspended Phelps for three months in the wake of the photo, and Kellogg Co. said it would not renew its endorsement deal with him. The photo surfaced in a British newspaper, News of the World, on Feb. 1. The swimmer, who won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games, did not dispute its authenticity. News of the World said the picture was taken during a party while Phelps was visiting the university. During that trip, he attended one of the school’s football games and received a big ovation when introduced to the crowd. The party occurred nearly three months after the Olympics while Phelps was taking a break from training, and his actions should have no impact on the eight golds he won at Beijing. He has never tested positive for banned substances. This isn’t the first embarrassing episode for Phelps after an Olympic triumph. In 2004, a few months removed from winning six gold and two bronze medals in Athens, the swimmer was arrested on a drunken driving charge at age 19. He pleaded guilty and apologized for the mistake.
I’m sure those 8 people who WERE arrested after this incident are thrilled that Phelps, an American hero, managed to evade arrest. Utterly absurd. The disparity in fairness of treatment between the famous and the unfamous is SO BLATANT in this case … I’m kinda disgusted. That anyone was even arrested in the first place, just grosses me right out. Leon Lott does not deserve to be allowed to be a meter maid, let alone a sheriff. I hope the folks in Richland County hold HIM accountable for his actions. I, for one, would not want him to exercise any authority in any jurisdiction that I lived in. What a sad ending to a dumb story.