Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mercy McCune-Brooks administrator's driver's license hearing moved to Newton County

The decision on whether Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital Administrator Scott Watson will retain his driving privileges will be held in Newton County Circuit Court on a change of venue from Jasper County.

The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 7, just nine days before the temporary stay that has allowed him to continue driving is scheduled to expire.

Watson's driving privileges were suspended after the Joplin Police Department arrested him 1:15 a. m. July 2 at the 9 mile marker on eastbound I-44 for driving while intoxicated. Online court records indicate Watson refused to take a breathalyzer test, a claim that is disputed by Watson's attorney Judd McPherson, Joplin, in his request for a stay to allow Watson to continue driving until the administrative hearing is held.

"Plaintiff was not properly under arrest and the said officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe that Plaintiff committed any offense."

The petition says Watson, who was Newton County prosecuting attorney for 14 years, "did not refuse to submit to any chemical test at the request of said officers," and "was not informed that his license may be revoked upon refusal to submit to a test.:

The officer "did not have reasonable grounds to believe plaintiff was driving a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition," according to the petition.

The outcome of the hearing will likely determine whether charges are filed against Watson. If so, the charge will likely be filed in Joplin Municipal Court, the Carthage Press reported.



Anonymous said...

Well if I had been a prosecutor in a different county I would want a change of venue to that county also.

Anonymous said...

Well he will get away with it! ! Can already tell by having the case moved from jasper to newton county......where he worked!! That should be a conflict of interest somewhere. And now favoritism will be shown to him and NO charges will be filed. Corruption at it's best!!! This shows that some people are above the law, Hillary.

Anonymous said...

It had to be moved to Newton County as that is where the arrest occurred.

Anonymous said...

They canned a lot of good SOBER techs and nurses and support employees who failed to be "Mercy Fit." I do not think this represents the spirit of loving sacrifice embodied in all those Sisters of Mercy.

Anonymous said...

This is more of a disgrace and bad publicity on Mercy than Scott. They are crazy if they keep him and surely they're not afraid to be sued by Judd haha. He's a joke himself!

Anonymous said...

I thought that in this country, a person is innocent until proven guilty.
If he didn't have a breathalyzer test, how could you be sure he was intoxicated? What did he do to be pulled over in the first place? That is why he is afforded a hearing.
This is not a trial of guilt, it is a hearing to determine if his license shall be suspended for NOT taking the breathalyzer test.
He was pulled over at mile marker 9, which is in Newton County. (Newton County runs south of 32nd street in that area). Of course his hearing should be in Newton County.

Anonymous said...

Chill out 10:08.big deal...let the courts decide and yes Scott by now has been amply embarrassed. Mercy is an excellent employer it's their business. Look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with the drunk driving crusade. If you people really want to make the roads safer then treat those using a cell phone the same way you do a drunk driver. The results of both activities are equally dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Conflict of interest in my opinion to be tried in Newton County where he prosecuted those with same charges as this and was/is on friendly terms with the judges and county employees.
I'm watching how this one plays out for sure and hope higher ups than these local judges are made aware.

These lawyers' privileges to practice law should be revoked said...

Both Scott Watson as prosecutor and this legal weasel making these frivolous and false arguments about how they don't know the law -- refusal to take an alcohol-breath test for above .8 % blood alcohol level means immediate license suspension for one full year -- should be immediately disbarred permanently for obstruction of justice for perjury regarding both the facts and law.

Back in 1993 I had a friend who got his driving license back because on Labor Day 1992 he was pulled over and refused to take a breath test. He had just gotten his license back.

So both Scott Watson and his lawyer know the law and are using a "Sovereign Citizen" dodge of making the law prove that they were drunk by holding up the testing until they are no longer drunk. The law was made of immediate administrative suspension of license -- for all -- upon refusal.

Scott Watson should also refund all the drunk-driver fines and penalities from when he was a prosecutor for deliberately disobeying the law as written and enforced against others by himself as prosecutor.

Judd McPherson said...

I'll leave this here for your legal analysis of the fact that EVERYONE has he right to appeal a refusal:

RSMo Section 577.041:
1. If a person under arrest refuses upon the request of the arresting officer to submit to any test allowed under section 577.020, then none shall be given and evidence of the refusal shall be admissible in a proceeding under section 577.010 or 577.012. The request of the arresting officer shall include the reasons of the officer for requesting the person to submit to a test and also shall inform the person that evidence of his refusal to take the test may be used against him and that his license may be revoked upon his refusal to take the test. If a person when requested to submit to any test allowed under section 577.020 requests to speak to an attorney, he shall be granted twenty minutes in which to attempt to contact an attorney. If upon the completion of the twenty-minute period the person continues to refuse to submit to any test, it shall be deemed a refusal. In this event, the arresting officer, if he so believes, shall make a sworn report to the director of revenue that he has reasonable grounds to believe that the arrested person was driving a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition and that, on his request, refused to submit to the test. Upon receipt of the officer's report, the director shall revoke the license of the person refusing to take the test for a period of one year; or if the person arrested be a nonresident, his operating permit or privilege shall be revoked for one year; or if the person is a resident without a license or permit to operate a motor vehicle in this state, an order shall be issued denying the person the issuance of a license or permit for a period of one year.

2. If a person's license has been revoked because of his refusal to submit to a chemical test, he may request a hearing before a court of record in the county in which the arrest occurred. Upon his request the clerk of the court shall notify the prosecuting attorney of the county and the prosecutor shall appear at the hearing on behalf of the arresting officer. At the hearing the judge shall determine only:

(1) Whether or not the person was arrested;

(2) Whether or not the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition; and

(3) Whether or not the person refused to submit to the test.

3. If the judge determines any issue not to be in the affirmative, he shall order the director to reinstate the license or permit to drive.

4. Requests for review as herein provided shall go to the head of the docket of the court wherein filed.