Thursday, April 19, 2007


Cocaine-sniffing teacher takes plea deal

A retired Lewiston-Porter teacher, charged with snorting cocaine from a pen cap in front of students while working as a substitute teacher, accepted a plea deal Wednesday in Lewiston Town Court.

Joan M. Donatelli, 59, of Lewiston, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree in front of Town Justice Thomas J. Sheeran. Two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and more severe criminal possession charges were dropped in the plea deal, offered by the Niagara County district attorney’s office.

Donatelli had been charged Feb. 1 after two fourth-grade girls, who were sitting near her desk, said they saw her using a pen cap to snort cocaine from a plastic bag at her desk.

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