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Officer accused of exploiting his father

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was arrested Monday and charged with exploiting his father, who has Alzheimer's disease.

Officer Richard M. Watts, who has worked as a patrol officer since 1992, was charged with felony exploitation of an elderly or disabled adult.

Detectives began investigating Watts sometime in June after a relative filed a complaint with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services related to his handling of his father's assets, authorities said.

The charges against Watts, who had power of attorney for his father, are not related to the performance of his duties while acting as a police officer, although any cases he handled will be reviewed, police said.

Watts was suspended without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

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