Wells out of Jail, Claims Innocence
KENNEWICK, Wash. - Tri-Cities Fever coach Tony Wells was released from Benton County jail Wednesday on $2,500 dollars bond. He is now claiming his innocence. He says he knew nothing about the warrants out for his arrest in Kentucky and Florida, although he has lived in both places.
He had been in jail since Kennewick police discovered the warrants on Sunday. He may be extradited to Florida, but is also considering going there on his own to clear things up. Wells did not return our calls Wednesday, but he has been speaking with Fever GM Randy Schillinger, who has spoken with us. The specifics of the charges are still unclear. The stolen property charge in Florida reportedly involves a stolen television.
As far as Wells' future with the team, owner Doug MacGregor told KNDU they will wait to get all the facts. Since AF2 training camps are already beginning, the Fever have to make a decision on their coach soon. The timing worries MacGregor.
"Of course it's a concern," he said. "I spoke with Tony personally and I'm sad to see this. Just like he wants to get this cleared up, we'd like to see that happen too. We want to deal with this as quickly as we can, but we don't want to rush judgement and do the wrong thing either."
MacGregor actually fired Wells in August , before re-hiring him eight days later. MacGregor had been concerned over the strained relationship between Wells and Schillinger. Those differences were eventually settled.