by: Erica Byfield Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Dekalb County police are investigating whether a county commissioner received preferential treatment in an encounter outside a club.
Commissioner Stan Watson is accused of being drunk, driving away from the club and then returning shortly afterward. The incident happened the morning of July 12 at the Tanqueray Lounge on Glenwood Road.
Dekalb's police chief told Channel 2 Action News he heard about the situation involving Watson one day after it unfolded.
"The initial report I got is that he never left the location. The incident report is now telling me that he did leave and return," said Police Chief William O'Brien.
The officer in the report wrote, "I witnessed Mr. Watson pulling out of the church parking lot. About a minute later, Mr. Watson pulled back into the parking lot, exited his vehicle and stated, ‘I'm going to let someone else take me home.’”
According to the officer, earlier in the night, the commissioner accused two women of stealing his wallet.
"While outside in the parking lot, Mr. Watson exited the club and yelled, ‘I'm going to act like a f****** fool in the morning,’ and ‘One of those two b****** stole my wallet,’" the report said.
The commissioner later found his wallet.
When Channel 2's Erica Byfield spoke to Watson about the incident, he told her his sister recently died.
"I had a moment where I was trying to console myself and I had a few drinks. I at least had enough sense not to drive myself home. Hopefully voters will forgive me that," Watson said.
After returning to the parking lot, the commissioner was allowed to leave.
In the report, the reporting officer mentions due to circumstances beyond his control, Watson’s friend was allowed to take him home.
O'Brien told Byfield he has questions about how his officers handled the situation.
"I would certainly expect that any professional law enforcement officer, if they saw anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs get behind the wheel of a car, that they would take action," he said.