CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said Tuesday he wants charges refiled against a well-known capitol lobbyist who was arrested earlier this year for allegedly soliciting a prostitute.

Phil Reale, who served as former Gov. Gaston Caperton’s chief of staff and now lobbies for several high-profile groups, was taken into custody during a prostitution sting back in July. The woman involved was an undercover officer from an outside agency.

According to the police report, Reale said he was driving to the Berry Hills Country Club to hit golf balls the evening of July 11. On the way, he noticed a woman standing on the corner of Washington and Beatrice streets.

Reale told the Charleston Daily Mail in a story that ran in Tuesday’s edition, “My first inclination was that she needed assistance. When she approached my car, I was shocked to learn that she was a prostitute. I immediately declined her offer, but made a nervous, flippant response.”

He claims he never made her an offer. Mayor Jones said Tuesday he doesn’t believe that.

“If he’s going down Washington Street to get to Berry Hills, he’s taking the scenic route!”

Jones said Charleston Police Dept. Sgt. Bobby Eggleton, whose unit was in charge of the sting, wrote in his report Reale was so upset after his arrest that he feared Reale might commit suicide. Jones said as a result, the system went easy on him. That included omitting Reale’s name from a press release of those arrested during the prostitution sting. Jones said Reale put on a very good act.

“Apparently [Reale] did a very good job of pulling at the heartstrings of not only the policeman that was there, then [Reale] went upstairs and talked to the city attorney and did the same thing,” Jones said.

The charges against Reale were dismissed without prejudice, which means they can be refiled. Jones said it will be his recommendation that’s exactly what happens.

“I don’t think anybody should go to jail for this, not on a first time offense. I so think they should have to pay a fine and go through the system and realize there are sanctions to be taken for coming into this town to try to solicit prostitutes,” Jones said.

George Manahan, with the Manahan Group, is representing Reale. He told MetroNews after Tuesday’s news conference that he believes his client is being unfairly targeted.

“Of the six charged that evening, three had their cases dismissed including Reale. This clearly shows that Phil did not ask for nor did he receive special treatment from the city attorney,” according to Manahan.

Mayor Jones said he does not plan to pursue disciplinary charges against Eggleton because he feels he was simply trying to be a compassionate person the evening of the arrest. However, Jones said, “Leaving that name off that press release was a real mistake and it shouldn’t have been done.”


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  • Big Bill Haywood

    Screw you "Non union dude," you are a scab! You are not entitled to any opinion, in any matter, until you learn how to play well and pay dues like the rest of us working folk!!!

  • Sky Hing

    Phil's guilt in this matter deserves mitigation, after all, as a lobbyists he is accustomed to dealing with prostitutes, albeit mostly males.

  • Vincent z Eva

    A greater indiscretion than the alleged misdemeanor is choosing George Manahan to represent you. Phil must have remained traumatized when he made this decision. Manahan knows less about the law than he does about public relations.

  • Non union dude

    You can't make this stuf up wonder how wife feels bout this action ouch

  • Independent View

    @ 2XLPatriot:
    If there was not a demand for prostitution, it would disappear tomorrow! However, this problem has been with us since biblical times and anyone that believes it can be completely eliminated in Charleston or any other American city is naive at best. The best that a police department can hope for is to keep as much of it off of the streets as possible.
    Just because there are postitutes on the streets of Charleston does not mean that the police department is not trying to control the problem nor does it mean that "Johns" should not be prosecuted for soliciting. One of the best deterants is public embarrassment, either the 6 & 11:00 TV news, with video of their aprehension or publishing the names of "Johns" in the newspapers. "Pillars of the community" should be exposed for what they really are, self-righetous charlatans! I'll take the word of an undercover lady cop anytime over some slimy politician. What motive would she have for bearing false witness? In all probability, she did not know that he was a well-connected politician and lobbyist.

  • 2XLPatriot

    "Honestly Officer, that girl was barely clothed and sexy. She looked like she needed assistance and I was willing to oblige."
    And Mayor Jones,
    "I so think they should have to pay a fine and go through the system and realize there are sanctions to be taken for coming into this town to try to solicit prostitutes,” Jones said.
    Sounds to me like you're not doing your job if there are that many prostitutes and people frequent your city for such indiscretions. Hypocrite.

  • RealConservative

    This is a news story and the Charleston (joke of a) Mayor holds a press release over it?

    Perfect example of what is wrong in WV.

  • Jefferson road

    As always sounds like the cover up is worse than the crime. He would have been better off to zip up everything

  • Independent View

    Mr. Reale is the same paid lobbyist that lobbies for the WV Press Association and the Charlestion Newspapers that fights tooth & nail for local newspapers throughout the state to publish the names of Concealed Carry Permit holders, yet, he cries and whimpers like a baby (and wins) to keep from getting his name published in the newspapers!
    So, the take-away from this is if you are a prominent lawyer and lobbyist and you break the law, you can get away with not having your name published. However, if you are a law-abiding citizen, having broken no laws as verified by a law enforcement background check and you apply for a Concealed Carry Permit or its renewal, your name WILL BE PUBLISHED!
    Tough to get one's mind wrapped around that logic.

    • Wowbagger

      Reale is a good Democratic Party man and influential so he gets treated with kid gloves. I'm guessing that the undercover officer's testimony would be most interesting.

      As I recall another of Caperton's Chiefs of Staff one Tom Rice drove down to Lynchburg, VA to meet an underaged boy for a little homo fun and ended up in Federal Prison. At least Reale likes adult women!

    • Guardian

      Sure sounds like the old double standard to me.

  • bulldog95

    Where does he find the time for all this, doesnt he have some people to teach how to cook his famous ribs?

  • NorthernWVman

    So whats Danny Jones have in this? Sounds like he is being very judgemental. Besides this whole thing sounds like entrapment to me.

  • Brian

    Sounds to me he got the same treatment as all Democratic officials. Why should he be treated any differently?