West Jefferson Hills teacher wanted on drug charges turns himself in to authorities
A Thomas Jefferson High School teacher and his live-in girlfriend turned themselves in on Wednesday on charges they grew marijuana in a hidden room in their basement.
Scott Houck, 41, is suspended with pay from his job as an industrial arts teacher. He has worked in the West Jefferson Hills School District for 11 years.
“This had nothing whatsoever to do with the school district or any students,” said Houck's attorney, Charles LoPresti.
Neither Houck nor his girlfriend, Taylor Bottone, 23, could be reached for comment.
“Police do not believe the charges had anything to do with the district,” said Superintendent Michael Panza.
Police began investigating the pair in September, according to court documents. Officers went to their Sebolt Road home in South Park early on Sept. 17 to check on Bottone. The court documents did not say why.
South Park police and state troopers said they obtained a search warrant for the home after investigating the pair for several weeks. Inside, police said they found several marijuana plants growing in a room concealed by a hidden door, plus heating lamps, fertilizer, irrigation pumps and other items used to grow marijuana. They said they found two bags containing 5 ounces of pot.
Police searched Houck's classroom and computer at Thomas Jefferson in Jefferson Hills, Panza said.
Houck and Bottone turned themselves in at the Pleasant Hills office of District Judge Guy Reschenthaler, who arraigned them on felony counts of conspiracy and manufacturing of marijuana, and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
They were released after each posted a $10,000 unsecured bond. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Feb. 5.
Elsewhere, a warrant has been issued for a special education teacher in Washington County who is charged with possession of drugs and paraphernalia as well as disorderly conduct for an incident that occurred on Dec. 28 in Centerville, state court records show.
Jacqueline M. Righetti, 45, of Roscoe, who works in the Bethlehem-Center School District, has been suspended with pay pending further investigation, school superintendent Linda Marcolini said.
Dona Dreeland is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5803 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff Writers Tom Fontaine and Michael Hasch contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Harrison shines again as Pirates clip Reds, 2-1
- Steelers claim former Cowboys cornerback Webb
- High school roundup: Greensburg Salem shocks Gateway in opener
- Secret judicial ruling blocks release of sexually explicit emails
- Franklin Regional security guard fighting to get job back
- Veteran Keisel settles into role with Steelers
- Pitt’s obscure opener still matters
- Trueman sparks North Allegheny’s 14-0 victory over Seneca Valley
- Humbert wins BVA debut
- Pickup takes out 40-foot pine tree in Harrison; officer injured
- ‘LEGO’ night planned at East Park