Ex-DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson pleads not guilty


Former DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of theft by conversion for allegedly receiving advances of more than $3,000 for government trips he never took.

Watson didn’t speak in court as his attorney, Robert James, waived arraignment and entered the not guilty plea.

Watson withdrew advance checks early last year for conferences in Chicago and Savannah, but then he resigned from office in March 2016 before those trips took place. 

He reimbursed $3,586 to the county government a year later, after Channel 2 Action News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on his travel advances. County policy required unused travel advances to be returned to the county immediately, according to DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston’s office.

James, the county’s former district attorney, said he hasn’t yet seen the evidence in Watson’s case.

“In this country, we have a criminal justice process, so let’s see how it plays out,” James said after the court hearing. “I cannot advise him which way to go until I review the evidence. We’ll let the process play out and see where it leads us.”

Watson is no longer an elected official after his unsuccessful campaign for DeKalb tax commissioner last year. Watson had represented about 350,000 residents in east DeKalb Commission District 7 since his election in 2008. He previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Trump tweets he 'took a pass' at being named Time's person of the year
Trump tweets he 'took a pass' at being named Time's person of the year

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he “took a pass” at being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” but the company’s chief content officer said there “wasn’t a speck of truth” in the president’s social media comment, CNN reported. >> Read more trending news &ldquo...
Florida teen in custody at border, is ‘person of interest’ in grandmother’s death
Florida teen in custody at border, is ‘person of interest’ in grandmother’s death

A 15-year-old Florida teen is in custody at the U.S.-Canada border, hours after police discovered the body of a woman believed to be his missing grandmother in a shallow grave near the boy’s home, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported. Logan Tyler Mott was detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as he tried to enter...
Sunday Conversation with Paige Mathis
Sunday Conversation with Paige Mathis

Paige Mathis would have no way of knowing when she joined Atlanta Young Singers as a child that she would spend much of her adult life there, too. An accomplished alto in her own right, Mathis has served as music director for almost 20 of the organization’s 42 years. She conducts the choir, which draws some 200 singers, grades 2 through 12, from...
At Issue: How should ever-increasing deer population be controlled?
At Issue: How should ever-increasing deer population be controlled?

The Atlanta metro deer population is prolific, fearless and amorous this time of year. As metro Atlanta grows, the deer population finds itself with a shrinking habitat. Cute as they may be, the white-tailed deer presents more than a few challenges for homeowners and drivers – especially now that deer are actively mating. According to the Georgia...
Community Voices: Fans hope folksy music venue reincarnates nearby
Community Voices: Fans hope folksy music venue reincarnates nearby

Years ago, one of my best-ever first dates took me to Matilda’s outdoor music venue, a wonderful treasure right in our backyard. Open, yet intimate, wholesome, fun and relaxed, there’s really no place like Matilda’s. Part of the charm of Matilda’s under the pines and beneath the stars, is its simplicity. Come as you are and...
More Stories