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Crime & Courts

Arrested Brooksville teacher resumes classes

Published:   |   Updated: March 7, 2013 at 04:11 PM

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A social studies teacher has resumed teaching at Powell Middle School after his latest run-in with the law Sunday in Brooksville, which resulted in his arrest on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test.

"He's back at work today," Superintendent of Schools Bryan Blavatt said. "We met with him and the case is closed. From our purposes we've received the information, and he's going to return to duty at the school, and as far as our immediate action: that's concluded."

Jesse T. Mockler, 36, has been employed with the school district since 2005, according to school officials, and has been arrested twice before on charges of battery in 2012 and DUI in 2007.

Mockler's bond was set at $500 for the most recent DUI charge, and he is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 27.

Hernando Today learned Mockler was not in the classroom earlier this week, and Powell Middle School principal Jamie Young could not be reached for comment.

Blavatt said Mockler's case could be opened again pending legal measures.

"If in fact after adjudication, or if he goes to trial, then we'll revisit it again at that point," Blavatt said. "But at this point he's returned from duty at the school."

School officials said misdemeanors or charges like DUI don't typically warrant removing a teacher from a classroom or cause them to lose their teaching license.

However, the Department of Education can fine teachers for those offenses.

Mockler was arrested for battery May 6, 2012, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. Criminal charges were later dropped.

Assistant State Attorney Sonny McCathran said at the time that the domestic battery charge was dropped against Mockler at the request of his girlfriend.

Mockler was also arrested in 2007 on DUI and two drug-related counts. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving and served a three-month suspension from the school district. (352) 544-5271

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