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SDR renews Central teacher's contract, district awaiting further court proceedings before future discussions
RHINELANDER - The School District of Rhinelander renewed a grade school teacher's contract as he faces drug-related charges in Oneida County Court.

District Superintendent Kelli Jacobi told Newswatch 12 Anthony Klein's contract was renewed Monday night, however those discussions were separate from any legal troubles Klein faces.  Klein teaches fourth grade at Central Intermediate School.

Jacobi explained contract renewals routinely happen each spring.

"His performance and contract is a completely separate thing from the court process," Jacobi said in a phone conversation Wednesday morning.

Klein, 33, was arrested March 26 after deputies found him in a "very lethargic" state in a car outside the Shell gas station on Highway 47 and County K around 7:30 p.m.

Officers described him as drowsy, moving slowly, and taking a long time to respond to questions. Klein said he had not been drinking, but noted he took his Adderall prescription at 5:30 a.m.

Deputies asked Klein to get out of the car to perform several field sobriety tests. Klein used the car door to balance himself and had a hard time standing upright, according to the criminal complaint.

He failed all three sobriety tests, including a heel-to-toe walk in which Klein didn't make proper foot contact, made a wrong turn, and counted to 12 instead of 10.

Police arrested him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. They searched Klein and found a pill bottle with seven different prescription pills, including some narcotics like Acetaminophen Hydrocodone (a schedule II narcotic), Alprazolam (a schedule IV controlled substance), and an anti-psychotic drug.

Klein was placed on paid administrative leave on March 27. Jacobi said he is still on paid leave as of Wednesday.  Klein is in his sixth year teaching with SDR, according to his online biography.

Jacobi said further discussions about Klein's future with the district will be decided once court proceedings play out.

Klein will enter a plea to a felony narcotic drug possession and misdemeanor controlled substance possession charges May 20.

Story By: Lane Kimble


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