ELKO – A Carlin elementary school teacher is on paid leave following her arrest for allegedly selling drugs.
Charlotte E. Rhoden, 37, was arrested in Carlin following a traffic stop for speeding. She was booked on five counts of using or possessing drug paraphernalia; and one count each of selling a Schedule I or II controlled substance; trafficking a controlled substance; introducing a controlled substance into jail; and speeding.
Rhoden was a fourth-grade teacher at Carlin Combined Schools at the time of her arrest, and had been employed by the Elko County School District for three years, said Superintendent Todd Pehrson.
“Ms. Rhoden is on administrative leave pending a full investigation,” he said.
All school district employees undergo a background check and fingerprinting before they are hired, but once they are hired and licensed they become a post-probationary employee according Nevada Revised Statue Chapter 391.
“We take all employee arrests seriously,” said Pehrson. “However, once a licensed school employee has achieved post-probationary status, [the law] gives that employee protection from disciplinary actions by the employer.”
In the case of Rhoden, she cannot be suspended from the district unless she is charged with a felony by the district attorney, Pehrson explained.
“After that, the employee may not be terminated unless and until the employee is convicted of a felony,” Pehrson said.
The state board of education may suspend or revoke the license of any licensed employee for conviction of a felony, according to NRS 391.330.
“The Elko County School District is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all employees,” Pehrson said. “[And we are] dedicated to providing quality instruction and will ensure that our students continue to receive an excellent education.”
Rhoden was pulled over for speeding in a construction zone near Carlin after midnight on Sept. 7. A search of her vehicle yielded 13.5 grams of methamphetamine, along with drug paraphernalia and material related to sales, said Carlin Police Chief Dennis Fobes.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Rhoden was also arrested Nov. 9 for driving under the influence and having an open container of alcohol, both misdemeanors. She pleaded guilty in Elko Justice Court on April 10 and was given a suspended sentence of 20 days in jail and ordered to serve 48 hours in jail.