Beth-Center teacher faces drug charges
A special education teacher from Roscoe faces drug charges.
Jacqueline M. Righetti, 45, of 41 Jefferson Ave. was charged after Centerville police saw her vehicle on the side of the road at the intersection of 100 Main St. and Low Hill Road in Denbo on Dec. 12.
Officer Nicholas C. Richards filed the charges Jan. 13 at the Centerville office of Magisterial District Judge Joshua Kanalis. A warrant was issued the next day, according to court records.
Righetti faces one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance (suspected cocaine), three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and a summary disorderly conduct charge.
Righetti is listed as a life skills/emotional support teacher at Bethlehem-Center Elementary School, according to the district website.
“She works for the district, and she is on suspension with pay pending further investigation,” Superintendent Linda Marcolini said Wednesday. “This all happened on the ninth. I came on board the eighth, so I do not know much more for now.”
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Richards saw a Honda CRV that did not appear to be occupied on the roadside road about 9 p.m. Dec. 12.
When he approached the car, Richards saw a woman move from the passenger seat to the driver's seat. A man also was in the passenger seat, the complaint states.
The woman, identified as Righetti, allegedly told Richards she had stopped the car to talk with her “nephew.”
Police said Righetti “appeared to be extremely nervous, not making eye contact,” and “visibly shaking.”
The man initially told police Righetti was his aunt. He later told police Righetti was one of his former teachers at Bethlehem-Center, and that they had “met up to perform sexual acts,” according to the affidavit.
The man was not charged and was released, police stated.
During a search of Righetti's car, police located a suspected drug-snorting straw inside a Lemonhead Jelly Beans container. Two white pills reportedly were found in a small gold container.
After being asked to search her purse, Righetti reportedly told police she would empty it for them.
She dumped the contents onto the hood of the patrol vehicle, according to the affidavit. Police asked Righetti to open her wallet, at which time she “quickly grabbed” cash and clenched it in her hand.
When police asked her to reveal what was in her hand, they saw the money and another suspected snorting straw, according to the affidavit.
During a search by a female officer who had been called to assist, Righetti “would not stay still” and didn't follow orders, a criminal complaint states.
Police said a small piece of white paper containing a white, powdery substance fell from her leg during the search.
Righetti was taken to the Centerville police station, where she admitted to being a “drug user,” and that she had snorted cocaine about an hour earlier, the affidavit states.
Righetti was then released, the complaint states.
As of Wednesday night, Righetti had yet to be formally arraigned on the charges.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.