An arrest warrant has been issued for former Norman Wells mayor Nathan Watson after the embattled ex-public servant failed to appear in a Yellowknife court Friday for sentencing on a drug conviction.
“He should be here today. He’s not,” said territorial judge Garth Malakoe before issuing the arrest warrant.
Watson was convicted of possessing cocaine in March. In October 2017, RCMP in Norman Wells found just over three grams of cocaine in Watson’s jacket after pulling him over for failing to stop at a stop sign. Watson, who took office in October 2015, was not mayor of the town at the time.
Watson wasn’t present in court when convicted of the lone possession charge in March. He told his lawyer he was having vehicle troubles and could not make it to Yellowknife.
Malakoe said he expected Watson to be in court come sentencing.
But this morning, Tracy Bock, an agent representing Watson’s lawyer, told Malakoe Watson would again not be making it to court.
Bock said Watson sent a letter to legal aid saying he’d been in a car accident last Friday. Medical appointments and travel accommodations, he wrote, prevented him from making it to the Yellowknife Courthouse.
Malakoe wasn’t the only one waiting for Watson in court.
A pair of lawyers representing the Town of Norman Wells were waiting in the wings to serve Watson in connection with an ongoing civil suit against the former mayor.
The Town of Norman Wells has launched a lawsuit against its former senior administrative officer, Catherine Mallon, along with Watson, allegeding Mallon, “either by herself or in conspiracy with Watson, perpetuated a fraudulent scheme to enrich herself and Watson at the expense of the Town,” according to a statement of claim filed in court.
The town alleges $1.25 million was pilfered for personal use.
Mallon was hired as the SAO through an employment agreement in November of 2015.
In civil court Friday, Christopher Buchanan, a lawyer representing the town of Norman Wells, made notice he would be attempting to serve Watson via email, his residence and through his agent Tracy Bock.
Buchanan said Watson hasn’t been seen in Norman Wells for weeks.
“It’s our position he may be absconding,” said Buchanan.
Mallon, he said, has already been served.