Teacher returns to Falmouth classroom with marijuana charge pending

December 14th, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »

FALMOUTH — High school English teacher Mark Melnicove has returned to his classroom wth marijuana possession charges still pending.

Melnicove, 58, was charged Nov. 1 after an unannounced police search of the high school parking lot allegedly discovered 2.4 grams of marijuana in his car.

As a result, Melnicove, who is also active in the local writing and publishing industry, was placed on leave the same day and did not return to work until Dec. 6.

School officials said Melnicove took a “significant loss of pay” for the month he was on leave, but would not say how much his salary was reduced.

According to MaineOpenGov.org, Melnicove made nearly $57,800 in the 2007-2008 school year, with an additional $1,300 for co-curricular activities.

“He received some time without pay. On the advice of counsel, I’m going to stick with what the letter said,” Superintendent Barbara Powers said Tuesday, referring to a letter Melnicove wrote and released to the school community last week.

The letter indicated that Melnicove suffered from back problems and was using marijuana as a treatment for the pain when narcotic treatments prescribed to him did not work.

“Rather than go out on medical leave, I chose to follow the recommendation of a friend to try marijuana to ease my pain. I began bringing it to school in my car in order to use it off campus after school so that I could withstand the pain.”

Falmouth Police Lt. John Kilbride said the teacher never indicated at the time of the search that his

Article source: http://www.theforecaster.net/content/n-falpotteacher-120910