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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Teacher avoids felony drug charges

Hernando Today staff report

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BROOKSVILLE - A Nature Coast Technical High School teacher has avoided felony cocaine charges.

David Liptak, 47, was arrested on charges of possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia on March 30.

An arrest affidavit from the sheriff's office said Liptak was acting nervous when pulled over around 1:30 a.m. When asked to leave his vehicle, Liptak carried with him a fanny pack containing a cut straw and empty baggie that tested positive for cocaine.

Liptak told law enforcement he didn't use drugs, and the empty baggie belonged to his girlfriend. He bonded out of jail for $5,500 that day.

Court documents show the felony cocaine charge was dropped by the State Attorney's Office on May 16, because the "trace amounts of cocaine (were) destroyed during testing."

The possession of drug paraphernalia charge was transferred to county court that day. On June 5, Judge Kurt Hitzemann approved Liptak's pretrial intervention.

Pretrial intervention is a program outlined by Florida Statutes that allows eligible individuals charged with a misdemeanor or third degree felony to receive "counseling, education, supervision and medical and psychological treatment as available and when appropriate."

Court documents show Liptak will stay on supervision until he has three clean drug and alcohol screens. He was ordered to pay $50 a month for supervision and perform 25 hours of community service.

At the time of his arrest then-superintendent Bryan Blavatt stripped Liptak of his duties until an internal investigation was complete.

The status of Liptak's job could not be confirmed by press time.

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