Saturday, April 10, 2010

On Paid Leave? She should be fired.

She the teacher in the story below still be employed by a public school?

The following piece appeared in the Nashua Telegraph.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Woman arrested is teacher
Staff Writer

MERRIMACK – The woman arrested last week for allegedly having someone sober start her car is a teacher at Merrimack’s Mastricola Upper Elementary School.

Lisa Dinucci, 46, of 135A Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack, was arrested April 3 and charged with alcohol ignition interlock circumvention, police said.

Dinucci, a French teacher at the elementary school, was required to install an ignition locking device on her car as a result of a Dec. 12, 2008, aggravated driving while intoxicated conviction in Milford District Court, police said. The device essentially requires a breath test to check alcohol content, before the car can be started.

Police allege that Dinucci convinced another person to blow into the tube for her on two occasions so that Dinucci could drive the car.

Marge Chiafery, superintendent of the Merrimack School District, said she found out about the arrest from a Telegraph story and placed Dinucci on paid leave while she conducts her own investigation.

Chiafery didn’t know how long Dinucci had been at the school but said she works on a continuing contract, so she’s been there at least four years. Dinucci teaches French to the school’s fifth- and sixth-grade students.

Chiafery said she had not heard any complaints or concerns from parents. She declined to explain what her investigation into the allegations would entail. She said putting a teacher on paid leave is a standard response in similar situations.

“I think obviously it’s just incumbent on me to do the investigation,” Chiafery said. “I’m always concerned about student welfare. We just need to find out the truth.”

Police didn’t report whether they were able to identify the person who allegedly blew into the device for Dinucci or whether that person might also be charged.

Dinucci was arrested Saturday, charged with alcohol ignition interlock circumvention, and later released on personal recognizance pending arraignment Tuesday in Merrimack District Court.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or

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