Rep. Bob Watson's (R- District 30, East Greenwich) second arrest in less than a year is prompting discussion on whether or not the state representative should step down from his post in the General Assembly. Watson, however, has not lost the support of fellow Republican and newly-elected chair of the state's GOP Mark Zaccaria, according to WPRI.
Zaccaria told WPRI.com that he will not ask the troubled Watson to step down and was "heartened" to learn that Watson had checked himself into a rehabilitation center.
"He can decide whether or not he thinks he needs to resign if he thinks he can't fulfill his duties that the people of East Greenwich have asked him to perform," Zaccaria told WPRI. Zaccaria added that he and Watson are friends and that he hopes to advise him.
South Kingstown police arrested Watson Saturday night for possession of marijuana after receiving a tip from a plow operator about an erratic driver. The plow operator notified police that a car with a flat tire almost struck him on Tower Hill Road. When arrived, they found the side front tire missing from its rim on Watson's Volvo. (According to WPRI, the tire was found the next morning at the intersection of Tower Hill Road and Saugatucket Road.)
Police also allegedly saw a pipe (often used to smoke marijuana) on the floor of the driver's side as well as a clear plastic bag containing marijuana near the driver's seat.
Watson is facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana and is set to appear in Fourth District Court on Feb. 2.
Watson has yet to announce his intentions to run for re-election in District 30, a seat he has held since 1992. Last April, Watson was arrested in Connecticut and charged with driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.