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COLUMBUS -- Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald was driving with a temporary driver's license the night he was discovered in a Westlake parking lot alone in a car with a woman in 2012.

A story published in The Columbus Dispatch reported the Democratic gubernatorial nominee had not held a regular Ohio drivers license for at least five years prior to 2012, citing records kept by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Fitzgerald's campaign press secretary confirmed this report to WKYC Channel 3.

WKYC EXCLUSIVE: FitzGerald discusses driver's license issues with Tom Beres

The Dispatch article points out that if FitzGerald, 46, had drove his car after dropping the woman -- a member of an Irish delegation -- at her hotel, it would have been illegal. Ohio law requires drivers with temporary permits be accompanied by a licensed driver.

ORIGINAL STORY: 2012 911 call led Westlake police to FitzGerald

"This was a mistake," FitzGerald told The Dispatch through campaign spokesman Daniel McElhatton. "I apologize, and since 2012 I have had a valid driver's license."

FitzGerald had previously spoke out against allegations of infidelity and other wrong-doing in a press conference held August 1, prior to the Dispatch story, addressing the parking lot incident. He said, "In my opinion, the City of Westlake, on city time and with city resources, is looking for dirt on me."

RELATED: Westlake mayor denies 'dirty politics'

FitzGerald, a former FBI agent and the former mayor of Lakewood, has not been charged with any crime in connection to that morning in 2012.

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