JACKSONVILLE, Fla — An Action News Jax investigation has found a local mayor running for state legislature has a past littered with accusations of harassment and stalking. Jamie Watts is currently the Mayor of Welaka in Putnam County, a town just shy of a thousand people.
He has launched a campaign for the area’s seat in the Florida House of Representatives, but the way he is accused of treating three local women raises concerns about that. No fewer than three separate women- all his exes- went to law enforcement about safety concerns after the breakup. Action News Jax Investigator Emily Turner found accusations of harassment even threats of revenge porn. She tracked down Watts at a campaign event to ask him about the accusations, but our questions remain unanswered.
Action News Jax dug through the records and found a series of accusations and criminal charges that paint a less than squeaky-clean picture. in 2011, his now ex-wife filed a report with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office when they were separated. It states, “She is scared for her safety and the safety of her children.” The warrant that follows charges him with stalking.
In 2017, a different woman called the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. According to records, “He has been threatening her for about a week” and making “threats to get her fired.” The call record goes on to say he contacted the woman’s daughter telling the (girl) “You should know your mother had an abortion.” The victim told Turner her daughter had just turned 18 at the time so she couldn’t press charges. She also said she’d only gone out with Watts a few times.
Then in 2019, a third woman reported harassment to the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office also. In a sworn affidavit, she said, “He has failed to stop contacting me despite my best efforts to block him” using “…multiple different phone numbers.” She said he threatened revenge porn, telling her he would “…expose pictures on social media and to my parents.” This woman also told Turner the relationship was short-lived.
These women ultimately decided not to press charges. Action News Jax wanted to get Watts’s side because at some point these women felt so concerned about their safety, they went to law enforcement. And ANJ wanted to know why he thinks voters can trust him.
Turner caught up with him at a campaign event in Keystone Heights and said, “We want to talk to you about a pattern of concerning behavior when it comes to women. No fewer than three individual women have accused you of stalking or harassment.”
Watts stopped to talk and said, “OK. I’m happy to sit down and talk to you. I’m getting ready for an event right now. As soon as the event’s over, I’m happy to sit down with you.” ANJ offered to sit in the parking lot and wait on him to be finished for the interview.
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Watts initially agreed but a phone call and few minutes later came back over and said, “It’s a private matter. I didn’t want to get into it right now.” He asked us to ‘be fair to him’ and give him the opportunity to tell his side. He said, “I’m happy to do that. I have nothing to hide. I’m happy to come to your studio, or you can meet me, and I’m happy to chat with you.”
Action News Jax agreed to do a sit down interview at a later date because of his promised. “I will not shadow game or duck you. I’m a transparent person. OK. You will find that out.”
But ANJ actually found out he lied. After multiple emails to set up the interview, he has yet to respond and is, in fact “ducking” us. Action News Jax also found out Watts was arrested and charged with felony dumping after he was discovered emptying the contents of his funeral home’s septic tank out on the property. He turned himself in to the Clay county Sheriff’s Office and opted for pretrial diversion rather than a conviction.