(LAKEMOOR) The north suburban Lakemoor woman charged with possession of marijuana has resigned her teaching position with Round Lake High School.
Gina Epps, 39, was a physical education, health and driver’s education teacher at Round Lake High School. She was cited with possession of cannabis, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and other traffic offenses on Jan. 29.
The board accepted her resignation at the Feb. 25 school board meeting, Jerri Ryan, human resources coordinator for the Round Lake Unit School District said Friday.
Epps was in Lake County Circuit Court on Friday to plead not guilty to the criminal misdemeanor charges before Judge John Scully. She faces up to a year in jail if she is convicted of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and up to 30 days in jail if she is convicted of unlawful possession of cannabis, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Wudtke.
Epps was driving on Lake Drive on Jan. 29 around 11:30 a.m. when Round Lake police pulled her over for an equipment violation and expired license plates. An officer detected the odor of marijuana and asked to search her vehicle.
Police said she consented to the vehicle search. A small plastic bag with less than 1.5 grams of marijuana, along with two smoking pipes and rolling papers were found inside her car, police said.
The incident occurred when Epps was not in attendance at school, Ryan said.
The district is looking for a replacement physical education and health teacher, she said.
Ryan said this was the first time to her knowledge that a District 116 teacher was charged with drug offenses. This was the second time this year a Lake County teacher was charged with drug offenses.
Warren Township High School special education teacher Peter Mulloy, 51, of Antioch, was arrested Feb, 9 during a wrestling tournament for allegedly smoking marijuana under the bleachers in Antioch High School’s gymnasium.
An off-duty police officer was attending a wrestling tournament when he smelled burning marijuana. Police said they found a “one hitter” device that allows a person take one hit from a small pipe. Mulloy allegedly smoked the “one hitter” right underneath where the off-duty officer was sitting, officials said.
Mulloy was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis and unlawful possession of drug equipment.
Interim Warren High School Superintendent Mary Perry Bates had said 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.
Mulloy is due for arraignment March 20.
Epps is due back in court March 7.
--Lake County News-Sun
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