An employee of the Bethlehem Central School District was arrested yesterday on drug charges following an investigation by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office and Bethlehem Police Department.
School psychologist Maria Mangini was arrested along with her husband, Brian Mangini, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, after it was learned they were in possession of a large quantity of marijuana in their home, according to Sheriff Craig Apple.
The investigation began after a BC student was found with a small amount of drugs on school property. The school notified police, who questioned the girl about where she obtained the drugs.
According to Apple, the girl was hired to babysit for the Clarksville couple at their home at 2006 Delaware Turnpike. While the couple was gone, the student searched the home and came upon a large quantity of marijuana. She then took some for herself and was later caught with it at school.
The Sheriff’s Office then worked with the school district to obtain a warrant to search the home. The student’s name was not released because of her age.
“We only got 3 ounces of drugs,” said Apple. “We had expected to find a lot more. That’s not to say it wasn’t there days prior.”
Mangini and her husband, both 41, were charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors.
The school district has placed Mangini on paid administrative leave pending a “thorough and timely investigation.”
“Above all, the district is concerned for the safety of our students,” said Dr. Thomas Douglas, superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District, in a statement. “It remains our highest priority.”
The district plans to continue to coordinate educational discussions about the effects of drug use, and establish a victim’s panel so students can hear from former drug users, while constantly keeping an eye out for inappropriate behavior within all schools.