Charleston Mayor Wants Lobbyist Recharged in Prostitution Sting

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A high-profile lobbyist is under the microscope for an arrest that happened in July during a prostitution sting.

Not only were charges dismissed against Phil Reale, but his name was also left off a news release that mentioned the other five people arrested during that same sting.

Along with being a lobbyist, Reale is also a former chief of staff for a former governor.

He was arrested July 11, accused of soliciting a prostitute at the corner of Washington Street West and Beatrice Street.

Reale claims he was just seeing if the woman needed help.

Police tell Mayor Danny Jones that Reale's name was left off of the release because he was believed to be suicidal.

Police Chief Brent Webster tells that's being handled internally and that it won't happen again.

As for Reale, his days in court aren't over just yet.

"We’re disappointed that the city appears to be interested in refiling charges that were dismissed back in August,” Reale’s spokesperson George Manahan said.

“We do these stings because we want to try to shut this activity down in people's neighborhoods,” Jones said.

Because the case was dismissed without prejudice, it can be reopened.

Jones says he believes there is enough evidence to prove that Reale was soliciting the prostitute, and he is recommending the charges be refiled.

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