Former Belfast teacher arrested again, charged with providing liquor to minors

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted March 05, 2013, at 7:16 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A former Jobs for Maine’s Graduates teacher who was charged last month with furnishing drugs to her students was arrested again Tuesday after police said she provided liquor to minors.

Sarah Lawler-Stoddard, 32, of Belfast was out on bail when came to the attention of police again, according to Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden. Lawler-Stoddard first was arrested Feb. 8, accused of furnishing marijuana to her students and smoking it with them.

She was fired from her job after police began an investigation in January into complaints by parents who believed she was smoking marijuana with her students. After interviews with one former and one current student, police arrested Lawler-Stoddard in early February and charged her with eight counts of aggravated furnishing of marijuana.

While she was out on bail, however, officers who received an early morning report of suspicious activity in a Belfast hotel room on Feb. 21 found several young people in the room with Lawler-Stoddard, who was the only adult over 21 present. The minors were between 18 and 21 years old, McFadden said, and all were current or former Belfast Area High School students. At least one had been Lawler-Stoddard’s former student.

“The officers gained access to the motel room. They searched it. They found marijuana paraphernalia as well as several bottles of alcohol,” said McFadden, adding that the room also smelled strongly of alcohol.

While police were interviewing the people present, the former teacher asked if she could use the bathroom. Because no one had been officially detained, the officers told her she could. But instead of returning from the bathroom, she apparently slipped out of the hotel and took off, police said.

“That was the last we saw of her,” McFadden said.

Officers worked to determine who had purchased the bottles of Jagermeister and Dr. McGillicuddy’s liquors, and identified Lawler-Stoddard through store video surveillance tapes, according to the police chief.

“The investigation continued until Tuesday, when she was arrested on the charges,” McFadden said.

Rockport police picked her up on the arrest warrant for furnishing liquor to a minor and violation of bail conditions. She initially was taken to Knox County Jail in Rockland but McFadden expected that she would be taken to Waldo County Jail in Belfast or Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

“I don’t understand her behavior,” the chief said. “She obviously isn’t getting the message that we don’t want her supplying our children with these substances. Hopefully, this time she understands and stops doing these things.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/05/news/midcoast/former-belfast-teacher-arrested-again-charged-with-providing-liquor-to-minors/ printed on November 25, 2014