Putnam County teacher arrested on DUI charge
ROCK BRANCH, WV (WCHS/WVAH) —
A former Poca High School principal who was recently hired to teach at Buffalo High School has been arrested for driving under the influence.
Brad Knell was arrested by Putnam County deputies after he was found passed out behind the wheel of his SUV at a bank at about 6:10 p.m. Thursday, according to Putnam County Sheriff Steve Deweese.
Deputies received a call that a man was passed out behind the wheel at the Rock Branch First Sentry Bank in Nitro. When deputies arrived they said the engine was running, Knell had appeared to have urinated on himself and they could smell alcohol on his breath.
Deputies performed a field sobriety test and placed Knell under arrest for driving under the influence. The deputy later gave him a breathalyzer test which showed Knell had a blood alcohol content of .088.
While searching the vehicle, Deweese said deputies found a prescription bottle of Klonopin, which Knell admitted to taking before driving. The bottle had a warning that the medication could cause drowsiness.
Putnam County Superintendent John Hudson released the following statement:
"Unfortunately I have been notified by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department of the recent arrest of employee, Mr. Bradley Knell. I am extremely disappointed by the alleged conduct, especially in light of Mr. Knell's recent re-employment by the school system, subject to several contingencies that were put into place. I am limited by what I can discuss given this is a personnel matter as Mr. Knell is entitled to certain due process rights, but please know I will handle this situation pursuant to all applicable personnel laws and will be making a recommendation to the board in the very near future regarding Mr. Knell's future employment after proper notice has been afforded to him. Until such time Mr. Knell will not be on any school grounds or property owned by the Putnam County Board of Education. At this time no further comments will be provided but I do understand the concerns that have been and will be expressed by the community. Any action taken will be in the best interest of the school system, and the Board shares the same expectations."
Knell is currently on probation. He had been charged with felony computer fraud for the unauthorized use of school credit card. In a deal with prosecutors, Knell pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of obtaining goods by false pretense.
As part of the deal, Knell was placed on two years' probation and ordered to pay restitution.