A top aide to Gov. Deval Patrick is facing drunken driving charges.
Brookline police say Ron Bell, the governor’s $97,000-a-year community affairs director, was pulled over at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday after nearly striking a police cruiser on Boylston Street.
The police report says the 48-year-old Bell failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a Breathalyzer test. The report says he admitted to having two bottles of beer about an hour prior.
Bell was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty at his arraignment Monday to charges including driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding.
His lawyer tells the Boston Herald that Bell has gout, which may have contributed to his inability to pass sobriety tests.
A spokesman for the governor says Bell has been placed on unpaid leave.