You can get caught with 20 bags of heroin inside of a courthouse and still keep your job. Depending on your perspective (and which side of the law you're on), this is either encouraging or discouraging. It's reality for Damian Esteban, the High School for Architecture and Design teacher who was caught with heroin in a Manhattan courthouse last October.
Esteban, 34, reported to Manhattan Supreme Court for jury duty with the drugs hidden inside of a pack of cigarettes. The Department of Education was eager to fire him, and while an arbitrator sided with them, a judge has ruled that Esteban should keep his job.
The arbitrator said that Esteban exhibited "reckless and irresponsible behavior," but Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez disagreed. In a decision, Mendez ruled that there is "no evidence that the conduct with which [Esteban] was charged affects his performance as a teacher." Mendez suggested a less stringent punishment—like suspension without pay.
According to court documents, Esteban said he turned to heroin to deal with pain from an ankle injury. He also stated that he was unaware that the heroin was in his pocket, because, you know, who brings heroin into a courthouse?
[via New York Post]