Round Lake High teacher charged with pot possession
By Frank Abderholden email@example.com February 14, 2013 4:28PM
Updated: April 16, 2013 1:51AM
For the second time this year, a teacher had been arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Gina Epps, 39, of 708 Morris Court, Lakemoor, a physical education, health and driver’s education teacher at Round Lake High School is scheduled to appear in Lake County Circuit Court on March 1.
Epps was driving on Long Lake Drive near Valentine Drive on Jan. 29 around 11:30 a.m. when she was pulled over by Round Lake police for an equipment violation and expired license plates.
When the officer began talking to her he detected the odor of marijuana and asked to search the vehicle. The police report said she consented to the vehicle search and the officer found a small plastic bag with less than 1.5 grams inside along with two smoking pipes and rolling papers.
She was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, expired registration, failing to notify the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office of a address change and an equipment violation.
School officials are also investigating the incident.
“Mrs. Epps is not in attendance at school, but due to the confidentiality of personnel matters the district cannot provide any further information on her employment status,” Jerri Ryan, human resources coordinator for Round Lake High School, said Thursday. “In situations like this, our foremost concern is with the safety and well being of the students and the school community. We have been investigating the matter since we heard of the arrest.”
The other recent incident involved a special education teacher from Warren Township High School. Peter Mulloy, 51, of Antioch was arrested last Saturday during a wrestling tournament after allegedly smoking marijuana under the bleachers in the Antioch High School gymnasium.
An off-duty police officer was enjoying the Illinois High School Association sectional wrestling tournament when he suddenly smelled something unusual for being in the gymnasium. It was the strong odor of burning marijuana.
He went under the bleachers and detained Mulloy, who was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis and unlawful possession of drug equipment. Police found a “one hitter” device that allows someone to take just “one hit” from a small pipe that usually fits into a box where ground-up marijuana is stored.
Mulloy was apparently there with his family and happened to smoke the “one hitter” right underneath where the off-duty police officer was sitting.
Interim Warren High School Superintendent Mary Perry Bates said Thursday that District 121 officials are dealing with the situation per board policy, which has several different provisions and a number of them need to be taken into consideration.