News and Tribune

January 22, 2013

Middle school teacher in court on drug charges

Attorney comments on educator’s predicament

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — A Charlestown Middle School teacher found with marijuana, paraphernalia and $13,000 in his desk on school property late last month appeared in court Tuesday.

Kevin Hennegan, 56, of Sundancer in Jeffersonville, is being represented by attorney Brittany Blau of Jeffersonville. During the hearing, Hennegan sat in the gallery area of Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 where Judge Vicki Carmichael presided. He did not speak during the brief proceeding, but his attorney provided comment of Hennegan’s ongoing case before his initial hearing began.

“He has lost his job, and he is doing his best to move on in life and protect his family as much as possible from the exposure that he faces right now,” Blau said, adding that incident has resulted in a very difficult month for his family.

Blau said the she feels his arrest has been sensationalized by area media.

“He has been hounded by the press, as we see evidenced by the cameras here today in court,” she said. “It was in many ways, we feel, very much blown up and made more scandalous than probably was warranted.”

She said Hennegan is looking forward to getting the court process behind him.

Hennegan faces no criminal charges for the money found in the desk of his classroom, but Blau said she thinks the fact he was in possession of the money has lead to the sensationalism of the case.

“He was found with a large amount of money in his desk,” Blau said. “We can prove where that came from. We can prove it was a gift from a parent, and that it was going to be a gift for a friend.”

She said is not likely Hennegan will attempt to get his job back as a Greater Clark County Schools employee, but that he is, “reviewing his options.”

Charlestown Police Department officers were called to the middle school Dec. 21 after an unlabeled pill bottle containing marijuana was found in the facility’s main office earlier in the day. Administrators had reviewed a surveillance video that showed the pill bottle falling from Hennegan’s pocket, police reported. CPD then brought a K-9 unit to the school to search Hennegan’s classroom. Near his desk, police reported, the K-9 led officers to discover two smoking pipes, one of which contained burnt marijuana.

Police later found about one ounce of marijuana at Hennegan’s home.

Hennegan faces charges of maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony, and possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, both class A misdemeanors.

Court records do not reflect his next court appearance.

“Mr. Hennegan is caught in a situation, and frankly, there before the grace of God go many of us,” Blau said of her client. “He isn’t pretending he is a saint, but nor does he feel like he should be vilified for the situation that he is in.”