Ex-Norman Wells mayor arrested after months-long warrant; to be sentenced for drug charge this week


Nathan Watson, the embattled ex-Norman Wells mayor arrested late last month after being wanted by police for months following a no-show at court, is scheduled to be back before a judge on Tuesday.

Watson was arrested on Saturday, July 20 in Norman Wells after RCMP received an anonymous tip from the public about his whereabouts, spokesperson Julie Plourde told News/North.

He was arrested without incident.

In May, a territorial judge issued the warrant after Watson failed to appear in a Yellowknife court to be sentenced for a drug possession conviction. Watson had previously failed to appear in court on the same matter prior to the warrant being issued.

Watson, who served as mayor of Norman Wells from 2015 to 2017, was found guilty of possessing cocaine in March. In October 2017, Norman Wells RCMP found small amounts of cocaine in Watson’s possession after he was pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign.

He was not mayor at the time.

Watson is set to appear in court on Aug. 6 to be sentenced for the drug conviction, after being released on a no cash bail of $2,500.

A no cash bail means Watson will only have to pay the $2,500 if he breaches his bail conditions.

The Crown did not oppose his release, and is not expected to seek jail time for Watson’s cocaine possession conviction.

Instead, it’s expected prosecutors will recommend a $2,000 fine.

After being on the lam for months, Watson now faces a failure to appear charge as well.


Town lawsuit 

Watson’s legal woes won’t end following sentencing this week.

Watson, along with Norman Well’s former senior administrative officer Catherine Mallon, are at the centre of a $1.2 million lawsuit filed by the town.

The lawsuit alleges Mallon used the town’s assets for her own personal use.  The lawsuit names Watson as having participated in Mallon’s alleged fraudulent activities.

The legal proceedings in that lawsuit continue.

Watson was arrested and released by police in Edmonton on June 5 on an unrelated matter.  It remains unclear if Watson faces any charges in relation to the June incident.

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.