Charges against teacher with drugs dismissed

Nov. 22—Charges against a Laurel County teacher arrested last week for possessing prescription medications — and using them on school property — were dismissed in Laurel District Court on Tuesday.

Melissa Ann Neeley, 43, appeared in Laurel District Court on Tuesday morning on two separate cases, but both of which stemmed from her arrest on school grounds last week.

Court documents indicate that both cases were dismissed with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be brought up again. She was, however, ordered to complete an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Laurel County School Police Chief Dan Smoot said that in court Neeley "stipulated to all probable cause" and told court officials that she had resigned her position as a teacher with the school district. School officials confirmed that resignation.

Neeley was taken into custody on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at North Laurel Middle School for second-degree disorderly conduct. In a second case, she was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, controlled substance prescription not in proper container and third-degree assault of a police officer.

The arrest came after the principal of the school, according to the arrest report filed by Laurel County School Police Officer Mike Holliday, observed Neeley snorting pills at her desk in the classroom. Holliday subsequently approached Neeley and reportedly told her to leave the building as she was under criminal investigation. Neeley agreed, then went into the hallway of the school, refusing Holliday's commands to stop. When Holliday tried to forcibly stop Neeley, she reportedly shoved him.

She was then handcuffed and taken to the principal's office, where she refused to allow school officials to search her purse. But a search warrant was obtained and Holliday's report stated that there were several prescription pill bottles in plain view in Neeley's purse. A glass plate and a pill crusher were also in the purse, as was a straw that was hidden in an inside pocket in her purse. One of the pills in one prescription bottle was a higher dosage than the prescription bottle indicated.

A search of Neeley's vehicle revealed a glass plate in her glove box and a pill crusher in the console of the vehicle. White residue was on both.

The Laurel County School District released a statement following Neeley's arrest that the incident did not endanger either the students nor the staff at the school. It also states that Neeley "is currently not working at the school, pending further investigation."