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Charges dropped against pot-planting assistant principal Saturday, July 24, 2004 firstname.lastname@example.org 388-8575 Marijuana possession charges have been dropped against a former school administrator who admitted he planted pot in a locker to try to get a student expelled.
Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps said he dismissed the misdemeanor charge this week against former South Haven High School assistant principal Pat Conroy because a judge ruled a search warrant used to confiscate the marijuana invalid.
"My wife, family and I are relieved ... and look forward with moving on with our lives," said Conroy, in a prepared statement. "I made a mistake for which I am truly sorry."
Kaps said a technicality that led to the dismissal of the charges -- the arrest warrant carried the incorrect date for the officers' last visit to the school to search for marijuana.
"In the affidavit for the warrant, it was thought that the last time that officer had done a drug search in the school was in October of 2003," the prosecutor said. "In fact the last time he had been there was February 2003.
The judge determined that, because several months had passed between the time of the search and the time the arrest warrant was issued, the warrant was invalid, Kaps said.
That basically rendered useless much the evidence against Conroy, Kaps said.
Kaps said Conroy told police he put pot in the locker of a student he suspected was a drug dealer.
After police, using a drug dog, searched the school in February 2003, Conroy told them they'd missed the pot he planted.
Conroy resigned from the school district shortly after the incident. He said he has appreciated the support he's received form the community and declined further comment.