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Principal Charged in Cocaine Ring

April 10, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ A principal known for her good works and tough words about drug abuse has been charged with running a narcotics ring at her elementary school.

Delores Hill, 53, was accused at her arraignment Friday of being the leader of a small drug ring at the Tabernacle Church of God Elementary School in Brooklyn.

Ms. Hill allegedly sold $25 bags of cocaine to an undercover policewoman on school grounds. She was arrested along with the school nurse, a janitor and another worker.

Authorities _ who shut down the private, 160-student school _ said the defendants dealt drugs to adults behind the scenes while children were busy in class. But Ms. Hill allegedly made one sale while baby-sitting two infants in her office, said prosecutor Patricia Gatling.

Ms. Hill was charged with felony sale and possession of a controlled substance. She was held on $250,000 bail. The maximum sentence for the charges is 25 years in prison. Her attorney, Frank Paone, would not comment.

The janitor, Steven Donawa, 42, was arrested after he stopped by Ms. Hill’s apartment and left carrying 51 bags of cocaine, prosecutors said. Patricia Kersey, 41, the school nurse, was arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover police officer.

Both were charged with sale and possession of cocaine.

Ms. Hill had been quoted in the past as an outspoken opponent of drug use.

``There needs to be more drug education, especially for parents,″ she told Newsday in 1990. ``Our second graders know more about drugs than some of the parents.″

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