Prosecutors drop drug possession charge against Concord school teacher
Prosecutors have dropped a drug possession charge filed against a Broken Ground School teacher in April after they learned she had a prescription for the pills found in her purse.
But Peggy Sinclair remains on paid administrative leave with the Concord School District, according to an official there who declined to say whether the 50-year-old teacher would be back in the classroom this fall, either at Broken Ground or elsewhere.
Sinclair, of Concord, and a 22-year-old man driving her car in Canterbury were arrested in April after the police say officers stopped the vehicle and found pills, marijuana and cocaine inside. The cocaine and marijuana were in a backpack the police say belonged to Matthew Peters, and Sinclair was only charged in connection to the 30 bupropion pills.
“Unbeknownst to any of us, because she elected not to tell us the night of the arrest, she actually had a prescription for bupropion,” state prosecutor James Shepard said. “So once the defense counsel got around to sending me a valid prescription for that drug, (the case was dropped).”
The misdemeanor charge of possessing a prescription drug without a prescription was dropped July 3 in Concord’s district court.
Peters, who court documents show was living on Highland Street with Sinclair at the time of their April arrests, is still facing two felonies in connection to the incident. He is incarcerated for a violent February armed robbery in which the police allege he participated. Officials have said the assault was drug-related and carried out in part as retaliation by a white supremacist gang for which Peters is a street captain.
Sinclair initially agreed to speak with a Monitor reporter yesterday morning, then did not return a Facebook message from the reporter later in the afternoon.
Her attorney, Jared Bedrick, said he has not spoken to Sinclair about her relationship with Peters but believed she was going with the man to help him enroll at a community college when they were pulled over. Bedrick said he couldn’t comment on the charges against Peters and the allegation that he is in a gang.
“I honestly believe even if he was involved in that stuff, he had hid it from her because she came to me utterly surprised, and every day when more came out, she was more and more surprised,” he said.
Chris Rath, superintendent of the Concord School District, wouldn’t comment yesterday on whether Sinclair’s relationship with Peters concerns her. But Rath said she has heard from parents expressing their own reservations.
“We certainly would be attentive to those concerns,” she said, noting that she couldn’t provide specifics because it is a personnel matter.
Bedrick has filed a motion to annul the drug possession charge from Sinclair’s record.
Shepard said yesterday that Sinclair has not faced charges in connection to the other drugs the police say were found in her vehicle because prosecutors did not believe she had possession of those drugs. He said she could have faced a misdemeanor for possession of drugs in a motor vehicle, but the charge was not appropriate because it was Peters and not Sinclair who was driving.