Fresno teacher's 2nd arrest on drug charges

December 22, 2011 12:41:56 AM PST
A Fresno school teacher has been arrested a second time for drug possession, and this time, her attorney is admitting she has a problem.

Kindergarten teacher Dorothy Ramirez was booked into the Fresno County jail early Wednesday morning. The 53-year-old was already facing one felony charge. Now, she could add a second.

Until Wednesday, Ramirez and her attorney denied she ever had any drugs. But after she was arrested in the middle of the night, her attorney says she is struggling with addiction and needs help.

As a kindergarten teacher at Easterby Elementary school, this is the composed appearance Dorothy Ramirez wanted to present to her students -- the same one she showed Action News in an interview three months ago. But this is how Fresno County sheriff's deputies have seen her. On the left is her mug shot from September after an arrest for possession of meth. On the right, her mug shot from early Wednesday morning.

Deputies say they spotted her and a parolee parked on the side of the road, in a gold Impala, right near Table Mountain.

"The gold Impala, I believe, belonged to Mrs. Ramirez," said Fresno County sheriff's spokesman Chris Curtice. "I think that was the same one she was arrested in back in September."

Deputies say they found cocaine in the car, so for the second time, they arrested the teacher for drug possession.

In that September interview, Ramirez and her attorney denied that she committed any crime. After talking to his client in jail Wednesday, Charles Magill came out convinced Ramirez is a troubled woman.

"This is a very nice lady who's struggling through emotional problems and they're being exposed by illegal narcotics," he said.

Magill said Ramirez is disappointed, and feels bad for embarrassing her husband and children. But even though he said she's facing her demons, she's not admitting to everything investigators claim she's done.

"She still denies she ever brought any narcotics onto campus where she was teaching," Magill said. "But I think it's pretty clear she has a drug problem she needs to address."

She also denies carrying throwing knives onto campus with her in September.

Ramirez is still on unpaid leave from Fresno Unified. Administrators tell Action News a felony conviction would probably mean she'd lose her teaching credential and officially lose her job.

She's due back in court next month, but could be there sooner on a new charge.

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