Arresting Officer in Watergate Scandal Visits North Marion High - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Arresting Officer in Watergate Scandal Visits North Marion High School

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Watergate; Corruption; Richard Nixon; Investigation.

These are a few words that apply to one of the biggest political scandals in United States history.

It was 40 years ago, that a burglary at the Watergate Hotel led eventually to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Five men broke into the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate and were arrested by a Marion County native.

That very man came to North Marion High School Friday to talk about his experience.

"You can look at a thousand books or a million books and to actually have someone that was there at the time, that went through step by step through this, its pretty interesting," said North Marion High School Journalism Teacher Bill Stalnaker.

Paul Leeper was a sergeant at the Washington Police Department in 1972 and will forever be remembered as one of the three officers who made the arrests at the Watergate Hotel.

"I said this is probably one of the biggest burglary cases I'll ever be involved in," Leeper said. "But to think it was going to lead to the White House and to the president of the United States resigning his job; I don't think anyone at that time, even the other two arresting officers with me, Shoffler and Barrett, could have thought it was going to lead to that."

Leeper talked to the North Marion students about the night of the arrest and answered any questions they had.

"It's kind of like being a fly on the wall," said North Marion Senior Dalton Shoulders said. "When he explains the situation it's mind blowing. You visualize it."

Leeper said he enjoys talking to the younger generation about his experience because it's important history.

"If it wasn't for the two officers and myself there wouldn't have been an arrest," he said.

Bill Stalnaker said he hopes to bring Leeper back to North Marion High School in the spring and this time involve Criminal Justice and History students.

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