RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander grade school teacher appeared in an orange jumpsuit in Oneida County Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Police accuse Anthony Klein of driving while high on prescription pills a few hours after finishing a work day at school. According to court documents, deputies found Klein with numerous prescription pills on him at the time.
Klein, 33, teaches fourth grade at Central Intermediate School, according to his online biography.
The criminal complaint says Tuesday night a caller told police she saw a "very lethargic" man in a red car outside the Shell gas station on Highway 47 and County K.
Two sheriff's deputies ran the car's license plates and found it was registered to Klein.
Officers started talking to Klein around 7:30 p.m. They 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.
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.
Prosecutors charged Klein on Wednesday with one felony count of narcotic drug possession and four misdemeanors for carrying a controlled substance and illegally obtained prescriptions. He also faces a first-offense OWI.
School District of Rhinelander Superintendent Kelli Jacobi told Newswatch 12 during a brief phone call Wednesday that she and the administration team knew about Klein's arrest. Jacobi said Klein has been placed on paid administrative leave pending further discussions with the district, which is standard procedure in a case like this.
Jacobi said she will meet with Klein next week after she could read the criminal complaint, as she is out of the office until Monday. Jacobi declined to make any further comment.
Klein has worked for SDR for six years. He has his bachelor's from UW-Whitewater and a nursing degree, according to his biography.
Judge Patrick O'Melia set a $500 signature bond. Klein has until Friday, March 29 to provide prescriptions for the pills he was carrying.
Klein faces up to more than four years in prison and could lose his driver's license if convicted. He is due back in court April 22.