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SALEM School officials continue drug probe



Published: Wed, February 27, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

SALEM -- City school authorities expect to decide soon how to deal with a case involving the finding of drug items in a teacher's car.

School officials are wrapping up an investigation into the matter, which occurred earlier this month, schools Superintendent Dr. Dave Brobeck said Tuesday.

Depending on the conclusions reached, school officials may take no action, or they could issue the middle-school teacher a letter of reprimand, Brobeck said.

Given that the teacher has yet to be charged with any criminal offense, and may not be, school officials don't have the option of suspending or firing the instructor, he added.

At issue is the discovery of marijuana seeds and a makeshift pipe of the type generally used to smoke drugs.

What happened: A tow truck driver found the items in the teacher's car as the driver was about to repossess the vehicle from the middle school parking lot.

Instead of calling police directly to the scene, the driver towed the car from the school to the police station.

By moving the items from the point where they were discovered, the driver may have compromised their value as evidence, police have said.

The teacher went to the police station voluntarily after he was notified of the items' discovery, where he denied any knowledge of the materials.

Police turned the matter over to the county drug task force, which has more expertise than local police departments in handling drug cases.

The task force investigation is continuing, said its commander, Brian McLaughlin.




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