Charges against WLU athletic director dropped

Misdemeanor charges filed last year against West Liberty University Athletic Director James Watson and three others following the basketball’s team conference championship game in Charleston have been dealt with or dismissed, according to the Kanawha County magistrates office.

Charleston police on March 3, 2013 arrested Watson, his son, Brian, and then-West Liberty students Tyler Tucci and Gabrielle Davis following a disturbance call at the Embassy Suites in downtown Charleston. A West Liberty contingent had been staying at the hotel and gathered there after the men’s basketball team won the 2013 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

Following a disturbance call to the hotel, police arrested James Watson on misdemeanor charges of obstructing an officer and battery of an officer, according to reports. Brian Watson was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing on foot and obstructing an officer. Tucci and Davis both were charged with obstructing.

Brian Watson pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, with the remaining charges dismissed, according to a magistrate court representative.

Tucci also had his charges dismissed, and no record exists on the charges for Watson and Davis. Magistrate Clerk Angel Cincinnati said one possible explanation for this is that their records had been expunged, but could not say if that had happened in this matter.

Watson confirmed that he did go through the legal process to have his record expunged, meaning there is no longer a record of his arrest or the charges against him.

Calls placed to the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s office concerning the matter were not immediately returned.

The West Liberty basketball squads are competing in Charleston this week during the inaugural Mountain East Conference championship.